Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has promised to give five per cent
of the monthly allocation of the local government areas in the state to
traditional rulers.

The governor, who spoke at a meeting with
traditional rulers in the state in Owerri, said the allocation was
lawful and would help the royal fathers to develop their domains.

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He
equally promised to encourage full autonomy for local council
administrations in the state, as well as the state House of Assembly.

“I
have always stated that my government will respect the Constitution of
Nigeria. We will do things in accordance with the rule of law. We will
respect the constitution and ensure that what is due to the traditional
institution, the local government areas and the legislature is given to
them.

“The local government is the most important tier of government as it is the closest to the people.

“We
will give full autonomy to the local government. The legislature will
also have its autonomy. I will not interfere with the activities of the
legislature. There will also be financial autonomy. We are doing this
because we know that it is constitutional.

“I met a state where
many things had gone wrong. But that is why we have come to rebuild. I
cannot do this without the Ezes (traditional rulers). I urge you to join
hands with me to rebuild Imo,” the governor said at the meeting.

Meanwhile,
residents of Owerri, the state capital, have called on Ihedioha to
prevail on the state waste management agency to urgently remove the
heaps of refuse on Mbaise Road and other residential areas in the
metropolis.

They described the refuse dumps as a health hazard.

Speaking
to Southern City News on Friday, a resident, who gave his name as Mr
Simon Osuji, said the heaps of refuse had been on the streets for over
four weeks.

Osuji, a widower, who said that the refuse on Mbaise
Road had led to sickness among members of his family, noted that his
children had been admitted in hospital for two consecutive times.

He
disclosed that the heaps of garbage on the road had made the metropolis
filthy, disturbed free flow of traffic and affected business activities
in the area.

“Many residential buildings are around the heaps of
refuse; many of our children, owing to the repulsive odour have fallen
sick, some of them had abdominal disorder, malaria, typhoid fever, among
others.

“Personally, I have spent fortunes in various hospitals.
My children cannot sleep if the generator is not on in order to drive
away the repulsive odour and mosquitoes. We are dying in the area; we
are, therefore, sending SOS to Governor Ihedioha to help us,” Osuji
added.

Another resident, who simply identified himself as
Solomon, described leaving the garbage on the road near residential
buildings for weeks as wickedness and negligence on the part of the
state government and relevant authorities.

He disclosed that the
area was never a dump, and blamed the urban renewal programme of the
past administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

“The urban renewal
programme, which led to the blocking of Douglas Road and part of Mbaise
Road for over six months, now led to the dumping of refuse
indiscriminately by the aggrieved and embattled Imo people.

“The
odour is terrible and negatively affecting our health. Ihedioha has come
on board to inherit it. He should do something about this,” Solomon
said.

When contacted on the phone, the General Manager of Imo
State Environmental Transformation Commission and Special Adviser on
Environment and Sanitation, Mr Alex Emeziem, said the government was
designing a new project on refuse disposal in the state.

He
pleaded with the residents to give the government four weeks to
stabilise and bring out the new design to alleviate their suffering.

Emeziem
said, “The outgone government of Rochas Okorocha did not leave any
money for the incoming administration of Ihedioha. We, as a government,
are pleading with Imo people to exercise patience for us to come out
with the programme.”

Source:- Punchng

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