Members of the Abia State House of Member have frowned at the heaps of refuse in Umuahia, the state capital, and Aba, the commercial nerve of the state.
It was gathered that the lawmakers during their sitting within the week feared that there could be an outbreak of disease if nothing urgent was done to clear the state of the avalanche of refuse heaps by the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA).
The Member representing Umuahia North, Hon. Kelechi Onuzurike had raised a matter of urgent public importance over the increasing heaps of refuse in Umuahia metropolis where he accused both managers of ASEPA in Umuahia and Aba of negligence of duty which gave way to the heap of refuse in the state.
Hon. Onuzurike while addressing his colleagues said “I rise on this matter of urgent public importance to bring to your notice the lack of duty by the General Manager of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) and his Deputy in charge of Aba Zone.
“Mr. Speaker, Honourable colleagues, I have had cause to interface with the GM and his Deputy in Charge of Aba. If you take a look around Umuahia and Aba, you will know we are about being hit by an epidemic.
“Mr. Speaker, on the day of your inauguration you did say this House will not tolerate a situation where Resolutions passed by this House are not respected. Mr. Speaker, in the 6th House, we did pass a Motion over this same issue but the issues appeared to have been abandoned.
“I am of the opinion that we invite the General Manager of ASEPA and his Deputy in charge of Aba Zone to understand why they are not carrying out their responsibilities.
in a contribution, member representing Umuahia South State Constituency, Hon Barr. Jerry Uzosike speaking after the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum E. Orji called for contributions to the motion raised by Onuzurike said that they were in support of their colleague’s call.
According to Uzosike, “The issue of refuse is a problem; it is like a weak point in the management of Abia State. I am aware that this House had passed a bill that permits ASEPA to generate funds to augment what they get as subventions from the Government.
“Most times we see them come to people to collect ASEPA fees but the management appears to be the problem.
“I support this Motion in that maybe they have some reasonable excuses why they are not doing their job, so it is important we invite them to this House so that we can help find a permanent solution to whatever their challenge might be.
“This is why I think it is important that the GM and the DGM in charge of Aba come to this House to offer explanations”.
The Member representing Ikwuano State Constituency, Hon Stanley Nwabusi, while contributing to the Motion urged the House to exercise its oversight functions on the Motion.
“Mr. Speaker, Hon. Colleagues, Refuse Management and its health effects cannot be overemphasized; this House must exercise its oversight functions on this matter. I fully support this Motion, Mr. Speaker.
On his own part, Member representing Osisioma Ngwa South, Hon. Allen Nwachukwu, said the Motion before the House was an urgent one that requires the full support of the House.
“Mr. Speaker, I think this Motion is an urgent one. Coincidentally, I was coming back from Rivers State yesterday and the kind of refuse I saw at the Imo River axis is very Alarming; we really need to engage them (ASEPA) to know what the problem is.
“I think what we should do is to get the Ministry Involved, I think this Motion is very important”, he concluded.
In his speech, the Speaker informing the House of Governor Ikpeazu’s assurance that the refuse dumps in Umuahia will be cleared said “as you all know, ours truly is captured in the heart of town. Ironically, our Honourable Members from Aba North State Constituency, Aba Central State Constituency, and Aba South State Constituency are very quiet today, from my observations it is very possible that their place is cleaner than Umuahia.
“Greatly concerned over the state of refuse in the State, the Governor informed us that he is expecting some trucks to come in for the purposes of evacuating these refuse dumps’’ he Stated.
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It was learnt that the House resolved to invite the GM and Deputy GM of ASEPA to come and interface with the House in order to ensure that Umuahia and Aba and even around the Enugu – Port Harcourt Road were kept clean.