Imo withdraws environmental officials over harassment, extortion
The Imo State Government has ordered the withdrawal of officials of the Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) from Owerri roads following the allegations of harassment and extortion being levelled against them by the public.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who spoke to journalists after yesterday’s State Executive Council meeting, said the police had been told to arrest any disobedient ENTRACO officials.
He said the Commissioner for Transport was directed to incorporate officials of the Civil Guard into his proposed Transport Management Template to be known as the Imo State Traffic Management Agency pending when the legal framework would be ready for the of the running of the agency.
Emelumba also said the meeting directed the Commissioner for Works to revoke the contract of the Naze-Ihiagwa-Obinze Road and re-award it to another contractor.
He said the meeting commended Governor Hope Uzodinma for his road projects in the state capital.
Emelumba said: “The council noted that in the history of the state no governor has awarded road contracts of the nature Governor Uzodinma awarded and got them completed and inaugurated within such a short period of time.”
Meanwhile, workers of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) have demanded the release of their colleagues arrested by the police while protesting against the failure of the state government to pay them their salaries.
The police on Monday arrested 15 of the protesters after the workers allegedly attacked Uzodinma’s convoy in Owerri.
Spokesman for the police in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, claimed that they recovered weapons from some of the protesters.
But speaking to journalists in Owerri, yesterday, the Chairman of ISOPADEC workers’ union, Awuzie Chinedu, said the protesters attacked the governor’s convoy.
He said: “The truth is that ISOPADEC workers were nowhere near Concorde Hotel Owerri. Our staff gathered at IICC (Warehouse Junction) from where they marched to Government House, where they were confronted by thugs and police who wielded machetes, and guns.
“The claims by the police and the state government that ISOPADEC staff attempted a kidnap or ambush of the governor is diversionary, disingenuous, false and misleading.”