Residents of Imo State have decried the activities of some staff members of the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) and the Imo State Waste Management Agency (ISWAMA).
They said their illegal activities constitute a threat to peace and security in the state if unchecked by the state government.
In separate interviews with journalists in Owerri, the state capital, the residents accused the officials of the two agencies of constant harassment and extortion of businesses and shop owners.
In the case of ISWAMA, which was created from the disbanded Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO), the residents accused its employees of reneging on their duties of keeping the state clean.
One of the residents, Emeka Uwaegbu who charged the governor to rein in the agencies to stop their criminal activities, said, “Governor Hope Uzodinma as a matter of urgency must call on the heads of OCDA and ISWAMA who may be unaware of these happenings to summon and investigate activities of their workers on the field who by their conduct sabotage the efforts being put in place to make these agencies carry out their operations smoothly.”
A resident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “It appears that OCDA officials are not only compromised but also in a tango that can best be described as a syndicate with roadside vendors.
“It is no longer news that officials of the OCDA, majorly field workers, have become lords in Imo State, extorting and harassing residents against the projection and vision of our amiable governor,” he said.
When contacted by LEADERSHIP, the general manager of OCDA, Engr Innocent Ikpamezie, denied any connivance with drug dealers as he maintained that they are rather dislodging such persons.
Ikpamezie said, “No, no we are not in any shady deals. We are rather accused of being too thorough. We gave a notice over one month ago on the move to demolish shanties. Now we have commenced and there is no going back.
“On Tuesday, we commenced with the 40-40 junction which we demolished as the shanties there constituted an eyesore. In fact, residents of the area trooped out en masse to thank us for dislodging suspicious looking persons in those buildings. How then do you allege we are working with drug peddlers?” he queried.