The All Progressives Grand Alliance in Abia has charged the state government to focus its energy on infrastructure development and the payment of the arrears of salaries and pensions and stop hounding the opposition party.
APGA gave the charge in a statement issued in Umuahia by its Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, and made available to journalists on Saturday.
The opposition APGA alleged that Peoples Democratic Party-run state government has been battling with unpaid arrears of salaries and pensions, running into tens of months in different parastatal agencies.
According to APGA, the institutions include the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, shut down by workers over 22 months salary arrears and Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, whose workers are owed 31 months salaries arrears.
Workers of Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu are owed 33 months and Health Management Board employees are owed 33 months salaries.
In the statement, APGA argued that beyond the piling up of salary and pension arrears, the state also had infrastructure deficit and dilapidated roads in different parts of the state to contend with.
However, in his response, the Commissioner for Information, Eze Chikamnayo, described APGA as “factionalised and inconsequential in Abia“.
In the response, Chikamnayo attacked Ehiemere and the APGA lawmaker in the House of Assembly, Mr Obinna Ichita.
NAN recalls that Ichita (APGA/Aba South) and Ehiemere had been critical of the PDP-led government in Abia, accusing it of mis-governance.
They had at different fora challenged the state government to give account of the N27 billion World Bank facility it obtained for the rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Road, Ngwa Road, Obohia Road and Ohanku Road, all in the commercial town of Aba.
At the party’s news briefing on Nov. 11, Ehiemere said that nothing had been done on the roads, saying that they had deteriorated and become impassable.
He also called on the appropriate agencies of government to investigate how the World Bank fund was utilised.
Ehiemere described Chikamnayo’s statement as diversionary and failing “to address multiple and weighty issues of bad governance and poor standards of living among the Abia citizenry”.
The statement added: “It is very unfortunate, shameful and ridiculous that the state government chose to fight Ehiemere and Ichita for allegedly speaking out against bad governance.
“Chikamnayo embarked on rhetoric, instead of addressing the critical issues of unpaid workers’ salaries, pension arrears and dilapidated infrastructure.
“APGA, therefore, calls for the immediate removal and or resignation of Chikamnayo as the image maker of Abia,” adding that he was not fit for the office.
It further stated that his continued stay in office would attract more rejection of the Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration.