ABHA: MEMBERS MOVE TO PROTECT ABIANS IN LOKPANTA, PROBES ABANDON HOUSING ESTATES IN UMUAHIA

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Members of the Abia State House of Assembly on Wednesday 3rd July 2019, resolved to investigate what led to the death of one Mr. Ikedi Chukwu Egwu, an indigene of Lokpanta in Umunneochi L.G.A who was shot dead following a sporadic shooting by some security personnel as a result of the dispute between Lokpanta people and the people of Ebonyi State over a quarry site at Lokpanta.

Rising from a motion of urgent public importance which was brought before the House, by the member representing Umunneochi State Constituency, Barr. Philip Okey Igwe urging the House to urgently look into the issue which he said has lingered for so long.

According to him, the Lokpanta quarry site rightfully belongs to the people of the area, but that the people of Ebonyi State has been laying claim to the site for long which led to a truce some time ago for both party’s to lay their hands off the site until issues surrounding the true owner of the site are resolved, pointing out that the people of Ebonyi State went contrary to the earlier agreement which led to a recent fight and shootout that resulted into the death of an indigene of the area.

He prayed the House to issue a resolution demanding that all law enforcement agencies should call their men to order, and that the State Commissioners of Abia and that of Ebonyi should be invited for questioning. Adding that the National Boundary Commission should also be re-invited to come and authenticate the proper boundary so as to determine which State between Abia and Ebonyi the site falls.

The Speaker Rt. Hon. Engr. Chinedum Orji threw the issue to the floor for deliberation and members such as Hon. Ginger Onwusibe, IsialaNgwa North, Hon. Dr. Mike Ukoha Arochukwu, Hon Paul Taribo Ukwa East, Hon. Aaron Uzodike, Aba North as well as Hon. Kennedy Azubuike Njoku, Osisioma Ngwa North all described the story as pathetic, wondering why the dispute could lead to the death of a youth, stressing that it is the duty of the House to ensure peace and progress by the resolutions they make, while harping on the need to ensure that activities at the site stops for now and call on the office of the Deputy Governor to do its job as the issue of boundary lies within his jurisdiction.

On his part, the member representing Ikwuano Constituency Hon. Stanley Nwabuisi raised another motion of public importance over the high rate of abandoned Housing Estates in Umuahia the Capital City which according to him now harbors miscreants, lunatics and drug addicts and call on the House to look into it critically.

Hon. Nwabuisi further explained that if there is Public Private Partnership agreement on the Housing Estate, the government should ensure it honor its own agreement so as to complete those abandoned Estates for habitation.

Reacting to this, the Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency and the Minority Whip, Hon. Dr. Mike Ukoha expressed sadness over the ugly development, stressing that after many years of the creation of the State, it appears not to be progressive, and advised the House to review the Memorandum of Understanding to know whether the developers have violated the agreement or not, while calling on the members to set up a committee to do the needful.

Ruling on the motions raised by members, the Speaker Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji decried the death of an Abian at Lokpanta, pointing out that this is not the first time a matter of such urgent public importance will be mentioned at the chamber.

He explained that it will be uncharitable and inhuman for members to keep quiet when there are issues that have to do with human beings, and advised the member for Umunneochi to take a deeper look into the activities at Lokpanta quarry site to know if the State government is aware of what is happening there or not.

He further urged the security agencies involved in the earlier agreement to as a matter of urgency enforce the truce which has already been established and to investigate the death of the young man.

 A committee was set up by the House to investigate the Umunneochi Quarry Site and they include the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu as Chairman, while Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe and Hon. Emeka Okoroafor are members.

The house in the course of its plenary, deferred to a future deliberation of HAB1 for the establishment of Abia State House of Assembly Commission.

The Leader Hon. Solomon Akpulonu moved a motion for adjournment and was seconded by the Minority Leader Hon. Abraham Oba and the House adjourned to reconvene on Monday the 8th day of July 2019 at 10.

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