No Going Back In Investigation, Says PDP
– It Is A Witch hunt To Immediate Past Govt, Says AA
By Samuel Ibezim
In a bid to ensure that the interests of the immediate past government and present government are protected by the lawmakers of the Imo State House of Assembly, depending on the political party flank and interests they have; Tuesday, July 16, witnessed a robust debate at the assembly chamber by the lawmakers of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and Action Alliance, AA, over a motion to ascertain circumstances on award of road contracts between 2011 to 2019.
The motion which was sponsored by Hon. Edy Obinna, PDP member representing Aboh Mbaise State Constituency, said that Rochas Okorocha, immediate past governor, embarked on road repair and construction within and outside the state capital, aimed at easing traffic and movement of passengers, goods and services. However, he said that the essence of road constructions have been grossly defeated as a result of poor work that have placed the people and the economy in terrible situation.
Consequently, he prayed the House to set up an investigative committee that would interface with Ministry of Works, to enable them ascertain the contractors and companies awarded the contract. That they would be invited for thorough explanation on how they executed the road works.
Speaking further, Hon. Obinna who is a PDP member form the governor’s area, said that he feels bad when people accuse them of witch hunting the past government, he questioned why they won’t delve in the past so as to get the present right and improve on the future. He said that these roads were known as ‘China Roads’ because of its substandard nature. He cited of Wetheral Road, Inland Roads, Spitbat as some of the places where the bad works occurred.
In his own words, Hon.Stainless Ekeledirichukwu Nnodimele, Member Representing Orsu State Constituency, said that as he supports the motion, he wants an unbiased committee to look into it. He said that Imo State will no longer retrogress as every findings she not be compromised. The lawmaker said that there should be a penalty for defaulters after which they would be compelled to go and do quality work.
Hon. Paul Emeziem, Onuimo lawmaker, said that the tenure of Okorocha between 2011 to 2019 was terrible. That none of the contracts were advertised nor the contractors evaluated. Hon. Emeziem said that the contractors that made attempts to work were not paid and they are dying off while people that did nothing were paid.
Hon. Samuel Otuibe, member representing Ahiazu Mbaise, said that Imolites and the world are watching to see what 9th Assembly members would do. The PDP lawmaker thanked Rt. Hon. Collins Chiji for giving them room to express themselves as he wants to ensure that the integrity of the state is restored.
However, Hon. Amarachi Chyna Iwuanyanwu, Nwangele lawmaker, said that the demands of the motion are too big to be put in the hands of an ad hoc committee, rather, he prayed for its suspension until there is a standing committee. He said that as the constitution stipulates, the speaker has few days to announce various standing committees.
Another opposition to the motion was Hon. Ngozi Obiefule, member representing Isu State Constituency and member of Action Alliance, AA party. The ranking lawmaker cried that the present lawmakers are focused in witch hunting the past government than making laws. Also, she stated that she was part of the past administration in 2011, and she knew how bad the roads were in the past before Okorocha intervened. She insisted that Inland roads and many other roads are in good shape. Surprisingly, she said that roads constructed since 2011 have tried to last till 2019.
Also, Hon. Uju Onwudiwe, member representing Njaba State Constituency, warned that the lawmakers were partly elected to direct Ihedioha and ensure that their constituents get what’s due to them. She said that the ‘China Roads’ were not seen before 2011 “and not even ‘Aba roads.” The AA female lawmaker insisted that the House doesn’t need such distractions but advised Ihedioha to award contracts by merit and not for parochial reasons.
After the robust deliberations, the majority of the lawmakers agreed that the motion requests be granted when put to voting. Immediately, Speaker Chiji asked Hon. Obinna to head the ad hoc committee while Hon. Barr. Ezerioha of Oru West Constituency, Hon. Pascal Okolie of Orlu Constituency, Hon. Barr. Obinna Okwara of Nkwere State Constituency and Hon. Duru Johnson Iheonunekwu of Ideato South were selected as ad hoc committee members.