It was Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu who said “If you are neutral in
situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If
an Elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you
are neutral, the oppressed mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”.
Also, it was Madam Helen Keller who said “The only thing worse than
being blind is having sight but no vision”.
I have therefore watched with shock and unbelief how the Imo State
Capital (Owerri) is gradually turning into a refuse dump estate. I
have listened to various reasons and arguments regarding the offensive
refuse on Douglas road (just beside Ekeukwu Owerri market and opposite
St. Paul’s Catholic Church) that has obviously become an eyesore and
embarrassment to the state. I have also watched with keen interest the
alleged non-challant attitude of the State Government concerning the
same refuse that has for the time being stretched to over 3,000 feet
in length and occupying more than half of the width of the road in
The question that comes to mind is; what is the problem? What’s Gwan?
(Apologies to Reggae musician, Ras Kimono). In a bid to answer this
question, I had to ask questions and listen to various reasons and
nonsensical arguments regarding this un-cleared mountainous refuse
along Douglas road Owerri. I had discussions and interfaced with those
in positions of Authority, and my findings have therefore made me to
conclude that the following people should be held responsible for that
eyesore on Douglas road which is capable of unleashing epidemic of
unimaginable proportion on residents of the State capital.
1. The General Manager, Environmental Transformation Commission,
ENTRACO – Mr. Jeff Nwoha.
2. The Commissioner for Health – Barr. (Mrs) Ngozi Njoku.
3. The Chairman House Committee on Health and Sanitation at the Imo
State House of Assembly – Mr. Nkenna John Nzerue.
4. Imo State House of Assembly member for Owerri municipal council –
Mr. Lugard Osuji.
5. Religious leaders in the State
6. Political leaders in the State.
The reading public will observe that I tactically refused to include
the name of Governor Rochas Okorocha on the list of those to be held
responsible. This is so because Okorocha has people appointed into
various organs of government to take care of certain responsibilities.
Conversely, if those responsibilities are not being taken care of, the
appointed aides of the governor would then be held responsible in the
first instance, and to a larger extent, Okorocha too. Therefore, I
dare conclude that it is these set of unreasonable, unrefined and
uncultured appointees that are destroying the legacies of Governor
Okorocha by deliberately refusing to do their job.
Roughly two months ago, I did an article entitled “’’OKOROCHA,
DEMOLITION OF PROPERTIES AND RELOCATION OF EKEUKWU OWERRI MARKET’’’
(SEE ATTACHED), and it was widely published, and the reading public
commended me for the forthrightness of the said article. I gave
convincing reasons why Ekeukwu Owerri market should not be relocated,
as opposed to Governor Okorocha’s desire to do so. I equally proffered
solutions on how to untie the imbroglio. But most unfortunately,
another dimension has been added to the problem in order to force the
traders to perhaps surrender and vacate their shops at the Ekeukwu
Honestly, I am in tears. It pains me. It worries me and it disturbs me
to see that Douglas road which is just beside Ekeukwu Owerri market
has been taken over by refuse, and the Imo State Government led by
Governor Rochas Okorocha has refused to do anything about it. If this
assertion is true, what then is leadership?
This is where the agency responsible for the evacuation of refuse in
Imo State comes in. I am talking about ENTRACO. It is most
disheartening that ENTRACO has refused to evacuate the mountainous
refuse on Douglas road despite repeated appeal for them to do so.
Whatever might be their reason for failing in this responsibility,
they have put the residents of Owerri in danger list. I am therefore
calling on Governor Rochas Okorocha to without further delay sack the
General Manager of Imo ENTRACO, Mr. Jeff Nwoha for his negligence to
Nevertheless, if Okorocha fails to sack him, the people of Imo State
will have no alternative than to hold him (Okorocha) responsible for
that eyesore on Douglas road.
Also, to be sacked for incompetence is the Commissioner for Health,
Barr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Njoku. It is most unfortunate that a trained
medical doctor was not considered as commissioner for Health. Rather,
a “Lawyer” was given that portfolio. No wonder, the so called “Lawyer”
could not advice Okorocha rightly on the health hazards posed by that
eyesore on Douglas road…………………… Tufiakwa.
The House Committee Chairman on Health and Sanitation at the Imo State
House of Assembly, Mr. Nkenna John Nzerue should be given hard knocks
on his empty skull for failing in his responsibilities. It is expected
that Speaker Acho Ihim will remove him as the chairman of the Health
and Sanitation Committee, for his incompetence.
The member representing Owerri Municipal Council at the Imo State
House of Assembly, Mr. Lugard Osuji should be blamed for failing to
call those responsible for disposal of refuse to do the needful.
Also, to be blamed for the refuse dump on Douglas road is the Church,
especially the Catholic Church. O yes, I am openly condemning the
Catholic Church leaders because they have refused to do anything about
the mountainous refuse on Douglas road, which is actually opposite St.
Paul’s Catholic Church. One had expected the church leaders to have
drawn the attention of Imo State Government on the threatening
epidemic, but they have chosen to be aloof and indifferent to the
eyesore that is opposite their church….JESUS MERE HA EBERE.
Finally, I am blaming the so called political leaders in the State,
especially those with Governorship ambitions. They have refused to say
anything concerning the refuse on Douglas road. This shameless
attitude has exposed these so called leaders as people who do not have
the welfare of the masses at heart.
The people of Imo State will therefore have no alternative than to
resort to self help. What do I mean? At this juncture, let me call on
Governor Rochas Okorocha to wave aside whatever that is inhibiting his
leadership from evacuating that eyesore of a refuse on Douglas road
and do the needful. People’s life is at stake. We cannot continue like
However, if the State Government fails to order ENTRACO to remove the
refuse, I will have no alternative than to call on residents of Owerri
to not only protest against ENTRACO by carrying placards, but to also
come out in their thousands and dump refuse at their office.
LET SANITY RETURN IN IMO STATE.
I rest my pen.
Citizen (Dr.) Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha FCAI, MKDA
Former Senior Special Assistant on Media
Former Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties
Imo State House of Assembly
Owerri – Imo State, Nigeria
3rd October, 2016.
Please follow me on facebook @ Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha.