Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr. Gerald Irona has charged leadership of communities in Imo State to prioritize security of public infrastructure in their local communities.
The Deputy Governor made the call while briefing leaders of Ochia, Awarra, Assa, Obile and Obitti communities in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State on the plans of the present administration for the area.
He also informed them that an electrification project, jointly funded by the Imo State Government, through the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission- ISOPADEC and Waltersmith, a multinational Oil and Gas company in the state is about to commence, seeking the cooperation of the communities.
Irona, warned that the state government will not tolerate vandalism of infrastructural projects in any part of the state, challenging stakeholders to evolve strategies towards ensuring security of public amenities in their areas.
“On behalf of the Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, I invited you. We promised that our administration will ensure the provision of electricity in our place. Our people have suffered for years and God has come to wipe our tears dry. It is difficult to believe, but, it is true that there are some communities in ohaji/Egbema/Oguta that have never had electricity. Your area and Agwa in Oguta Local Government Area are among such communities. While Waltersmith is partnering with us in Ohaji, Sterling Global is partnering with us in Oguta to ensure that the electrification projects are realized.”
“We have done a survey covering Obitti, Awarra, Ochia, Assa, Obile and Umuapu communities in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area. After the survey, we will get back to Waltersmith and Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission – ISOPADEC, which have both shown commitment to doing the electrification project. Before the end of this year, work will commence.
The implications of this power project are far reaching. It will be connected to Gas Turbine, being the first of its kind in Imo. When you are connected, your place will become an industrial hub. Your place will be the most attractive for businesses. We shall develop our area.”
“Why I called this meeting is to plead that you take deliberate steps to ensure the security of the electricity installations in your area. You know your children, including the bad ones. As you get back home, invite your children; warn them to desist from any temptation to vandalize the electricity installations. Set up systems locally to ensure adequate security of the installations.”
In his response, Chairman, Interim Management Committee, Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area, Hon. Damian Ezeru expressed gratitude to the Deputy Governor for what he described as his commitment to taking development to the door steps of people of the area.
He urged him to extend their gratitude to Governor Emeka Ihedioha for his good governance exploits, assuring him of the continued support of people of the area.
Adding his voice, member representing Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area at the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Cyriacus Okoro commended the state government for steps towards providing electricity in the area, assuring the Deputy Governor of their continued support.
Also speaking, Chairman, Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission-ISOPADEC, Magnus Obido commended the state government for the initiative, assuring the Governor of the continued support of people of the area.
In his submission, Traditional Ruler of Assa autonomous community, His Royal Highness -HRH Eze Emmanuel Assor commended the Deputy Governor for changing the narrative of people of the area, particularly, reduction in violent crimes in the area.
“We are very excited that these days, we are no longer invited to recruit cult boys and people to fight our brothers, but for developmental issues. Honestly, we have never had this kind of leadership before. Now that you are laying this foundation, God will bless you.”
He however called on the government to make a declaration that “any community that allows any public infrastructure in its vicinity to be vandalized forfeits it forever.”
In their separate submissions, Traditional Ruler of Obile, HRH Eze Abyssinia Ogbuji; his Obitti counterpart, HRH Eze E.C. Odunze; HRH Eze Ekwueme Ekwueme of Ochia and His Royal Highness, Eze A.N. Ezenwaike poured encomiums on the person of the Deputy Governor, describing him as a good friend of the area.
They gave their blessings to the setting up of a joint security outfit to combat crime in the area, even as they vowed to secure the electricity installations. The monarchs further commended the state government for the new security measures in the area, pursuant to resolutions of the recent Security Summit of Ohaji/Egbema/ Oguta local government Areas.