The leadership of the Owerri Zonal Elders Council led by Chief Lemmy Akakem has condemned in its totality the wanton destruction and vandalism of the Otamiri Water Scheme in Owerri Municipal.
Briefing newsmen in the state on Friday on their observed rascality and inept attempt to destabilize the State Government and move the progress of development backwards, the group expressed disgust on the vandalism and disruption of water supply to Owerri and its environs by the hoodlums.
Chief Akakem regretted that despite the visible efforts being put in place by the nascent government of Governor Hope Uzodimma, miscreants have taken it upon themselves to make life miserable for Imolites. He regretted that the administration has not known peace since inception going by the Supreme Court case and now the Covid-19 global outbreak all of which has contributed negatively in destabilising the State.
Akakem stated further that despite these unnecessary distractions, Governor Uzodimma has remained resolute and focused in his determination to deliver the dividends of democracy to Imo people by resuscitating one of those essentials of life which include the moribund Otamiri Water Scheme abandoned since 1996.
He attributed the destruction to activities of some political jobbers, but warned them to have a rethink and cooperate with the new government to move the state forward.
Also speaking, a political stalwart in the state and an opinion moulder, Chief Bob Njemanze said that people should set politics aside and think first of the wellbeing of Imo citizens. He said it will do no one any good to kick the government on the foot.
Njemanze, the one-time Chairman of Imo Water Corporation pointed out that the vandalism was no doubt the handwork of an aggrieved group in Owerri whose members have decided to destabilize the Government of Governor Uzodimma. He urged the people not to personalize government and also harped on the need for government to beef up its security in the area, where the Water Scheme is located.
Earlier while conducting newsmen round the vandalized plant, the General Manager, Imo State Water Corporation, Engr.
Emeka Ugoanyanwu expressed disgust over the level of damage to the 850 KVA plant, lamenting that it will cost the State close to Five million naira (N5m) to put it back to use.
He explained that the plant was totally demobilized and cannot transmit raw water from the scheme to the users, noting that the armored cables were cut and destroyed, the AVR destroyed and the heavy duty batteries all damaged.
He said the action is sore sabotage to the Government of Senator Uzodimma in Imo State, because “it is not only the activity of robbers or thieves, but an intended damage to retard development in Imo State.”
He appealed to the Government to assist the Corporation complete the perimeter fencing that is already started, build a Security House to ensure constant and 24-hour security operations and surveillance in the premises, the plant and the transformer in particular.