By Ewa Innocent, The Sight News
Abakaliki: Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, has attributed the recent spike of COVID-19 cases in the state to the security lapses and compromise being perpetrated at the state borders by those assigned to enforce state directives, including Coordinators of Development Centres.
Umahi, stated this in a release he issued himself to a media platform, after monitoring
compliance at Afikpo North and Ivo local government areas on Saturday night, between the hours of 6:30 p:m to midnight, where he expressed disappointment over what he saw at the entry points.
According to governor Umahi, those assigned to do the job, including Coordinators of Development Centres were collecting bribe and allowing motorists to enter the state, adding that he arrested over ten passenger vehicles at Ivo local government area carrying over 50 passengers from Abia, Port Harcourt and Lagos states.
His words, “What I saw yesterday at ivo local government area last night has left me worried about our honesty in doing this job. Between 6:30 p:m to 12 midnight I entered Afikpo north and moved to ivo, I was so much disappointed. In Ivo, I arrested over ten passenger vehicles with over 50 passengers coming from Abia, Port-Harcourt and Lagos.
“Those on the road took bribes and allowed them to pass. I had no option than to arrest those who were said to be doing the work but were only there taking bribe and they are already at the holding centre in Abakaliki.
“No presence of town union in those locations. No monitoring by the Local Government Area Commissioner or Local Area Chairmen or Coordinators or commissioner for security.
“In Ohaozara, I observed that good work took place in the day but at night only the army in one location only and local boys stayed. No building of shades in all local government areas for security.The LGA Commissioner is hereby directed to account to me before Wednesday morning the expenditures of N15 million released to each LGA chairmen for this pandemic.
“I must definitely see if I can raise boys in each of the 140 communities to do this job and then review all appointments inline with those who can help in this fight to save our people.
“I am still so depressed with the commitment of our security agencies despite my efforts in paying allowances. I have no solution to this but God is alive.
“Never seen this kind of compromise in my life, not considering the danger of this pandemic. I am now directing all political appointees especially EXCO members to move and secure their communities. I am so much worried. If we do not try to contain this pandemic at this stage, our people will be in danger.
“This is the reason God brought us up in this regard. All coordinators in Afikpo north and Ivo LGA are hereby suspended from office effective 10/5/2020. They must handover to number one in their development centres including vehicles.
“All political appointees from these two LGA are to remain on half salary until normalcy is returned including all traditional rulers from Afikpo north and Ivo LGA.
Umahi, further announced the suspension of the Commissioner for LGA and Chieftaincy Matters, Barr. Samuel Okoronkwo and his permanent secretary for one month without salary.
He warned that, “Any state health worker that fails to be on his or her duty post will henceforth,lose his or her job.