Enugu citizens task Gov. Chime over project implementation, police disrupts media briefing

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Enugu | 28 June 2014 | 3,701 times

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A group, the Enugu Citizens Forum (ECF) has called on the Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sullivan Chime, to ensure that all the projects assigned and budgeted for in the state’s 2013 budget are completed.

ECF, made up of citizens from different local government areas of the state, said the call was in keeping with its aim of following up on contracts given out by the state government since, according to the group, the primary purpose of the government is the welfare of the citizens.

Addressing journalists yesterday at the Oakland Hotel Enugu, ECF Coordinator, Bar. Crownwell Chibuzo, said that what they were doing has no connotation with politics but purely to ensure good governance and for the interest of people who are not politically affiliated.

He noted that the idea behind the press briefing was to create awareness to the government that the people are interested in following up the projects being done saying that that there was need for sustainability.

However, the chairman’s speech was cut short when four armed policemen stormed the venue and ordered him to stop his speech and discontinue the event.

While the leader of the team went to the front, the other three policemen went and stood behind.

Asked who sent them and why the programme should be stopped, the leader of the police team said: “It’s an order from above; we were sent by the Commissioner of Police. The programme should be stopped immediately.”

In a swift reaction, the coordinator of the event said: “We are here to talk on how Jonathan is going to succeed and suddenly some people are saying we cannot do it; is it right?”

“Promoting Jonathan is not a crime; we need to know what we have done. They said the commissioner of police sent them to stop us; students are part of this move for the betterment of Enugu State. They had two weeks to stop this but they didn’t.

“We are not against anybody but for me, I think it is a mere situation of suspicions and it is bad for all of us who are citizens of Enugu State. People who are still in the Boko Haram infested-areas still have their freedom.”

Though Bar. Chibuzo later left with the policemen, another member of the group, Adolphus Mary, insisted on not stopping and went on with the programme.

She reeled out contracts that were either abandoned, half done or not done at all. Citing the N150m Oji-Amokwe 12 deep motorised bore holes, Adolphus stressed that during their findings, it was discovered that the project was not in existence but was budgeted for. She urged the state government to ensure that the project is completed.

Other abandoned projects, according to Mary, include the following:

*N150m Abor, Udi LGA borehole, which the group said the borehole has been drilled, overhead tank constructed and a new generating set installed but the borehole tank and taps are yet to be connected.

*Construction of a N35m new borehole in Nsukka Local Government Area. The group said that the project does not exist.

*At Amagu Lejja contract worth N150m, the group revealed that they saw an empty land overgrown by weeds and bushes. The only water project seen at Lejja was a 2003 MDG/CGS water project which was abandoned, ECF said.

*“Agbariji-Inyi, Orji River LGA N12m construction of deep motorised borehole, project not in existence. The only project that fits this description is a project the community revealed has been on ground for at least four to five years and which has seized functioning for a long time,” Mary said.

*Construction of a N130m Imilike-Ezimo Uno, Ezimo Agu-Imilike, Agu-Ogboduaba-Obollo Etiti-Amata-Obollo Afot road: The team observed that work has not commenced at the time of their visit.

*For the N400m upgrading of School of Public Health, Nsukka, to School of Nursing, ECF said they were informed at the site that the upgrading has not been done and they still go by the name School of Public Health.

*At the N50m Nkwo Inyi-Inyi Girls-Obuna, Orji River erosion control project sponsored by the federal government, the group revealed that there was no such project either executed or being executed.

*At the N30m federal government-sponsored Ohom, Orba Udenu LGA erosion control, “the team on arrival at the erosion site observed a very massive erosion within the living neighborhood, when the team interviewed community members, they decried the abandonment of the erosion site as it poses great threat for their lives and possible refugee situation.”

*Another N40m federal government Amandim-Ibiteolo, erosion control project: According to the group, the only erosion control work along the road was a community constructed culvert of about seven years which serves as a bridge across a big gully that cuts the road linking Amandim and Ibite Olo communities. According to the group, the entire project was budgeted for in the 2013 budget of the Enugu State Government.

ECF urged the state government to ensure the projects are completed as specified in the budget.

•Photo shows Governor Chime of Enugu State.

Source: News Express

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