There appears to be yet another clash of interests and personalities among the political appointees of Governor Hope Uzodinma. Though there have been rumours of such clashes in the offices of the Chief of Staff, Commissioners of Finance and Budget, and that of the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, none has been as pronounced as the verbal altercation going on presently between the Commissioner for Transport, Chief Rex Anunobi (Sokom) and the SA/GM of ENTRACO, Hon Sir MacDonald Ebere.
The Commissioner had in the discharge of his official duties, set up a Traffic Management and Control Team in Owerri Municipal Council. This he considers another solution to gridlock on our roads and congestion of streets.
But the SA (Sanitation) to the Governor and General Manager of ENTRACO, Chief Sir MacDonald Ebere, has since disagreed with Sokom, having asserted that their schedule of duties, statutory mandate and functions such as obstruction, nuisance and sanitation, cannot be compromised or conceded to any Commissioner, Ministry of Agency come what may.
He regretted that the constitution of a Traffic Control Team by the Commissioner for Transport “is infringing on his areas of duties and aimed at undermining, usurping and encroaching on his line of duties”. To that effect, he has rejected the Traffic Control Team by Anunobi, saying “ENTRACO is a responsible body and acts responsibly and any act aimed at undermining, usurping or encroaching into her areas of jurisdiction, shall be resisted.
Consequently, the sister bodies especially the Ministry of Transport are hereby informed to stop forthwith, any plan, or intention to encroach into any of the core mandate of ENTRACO.
ENTRACO will definitely stop at nothing, to make the State and our ebullient Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma proud and will do all within her competence to see that the Commission and the State are lifted to the next level, through the instrumentality of her efficient service and religious commitment to the things that shall help the shared prosperity Government to realize her 3R mantra of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery programmes to the glory of God”.
Rumours have it also that the ENTRACO boss had earlier complained of undue inference which he said renders his office dormant or moribund but he has not explained why of all things the gutters along Tetlow road, School roads, Zander street, Christ Church and adjourning Onumonu, Oparaugo and elsewhere cannot be evacuated and why the last Saturday compulsory environmental sanitation exercise is no more relevant.
An undaunting Rex Anunobi has however gone ahead to ignore MacDonald Ebere, who as SA and GM of ENTRACO had asserted ownership of traffic control and management, with the inauguration of of the Traffic Control Team irrespective of Ebere’s rantings.
In a release by his SA (Media and Special Projects) Ebere Uzoukwa, inaugurated one Kingsley Nwachukwu, there must be something in a name as Chairman. He hopes to constitute an Imo State Traffic Management Authority (ISTMA) subsequently.
“He explained that the activities of the Traffic Control Team would be closely monitored to ensure total compliance with rules of engagement by the Ministry of Transport so that the ultimate aim of setting up the team shall not be defeated or abused in any form.
Barr Anunobi who noted that traffic menace as regrettably observed in Owerri municipality is largely constituted by commercial motorists, further enjoined members of the Traffic Control Team to show human face while carrying out their functions and not seeing such as an opportunity to extort their members and other motorists.
The Commissioner described Senator Hope Uzodinma’s shared prosperity government as people-oriented administration whose programmes and policies are carefully mapped out to deliver prosperity to the people through a friendly atmosphere devoid of rancour and hostility and won’t tolerate any illegality or act capable of eroding its goodwill.
Barr. Anunobi who further harped on the need to restore sanity through compliance to traffic rules, said the Ministry of Transport under his watch has in line with Gov. Hope Uzodinma’s shared prosperity vision and mission articulated a comprehensive blueprint of 18 point agenda that will holistically drive a transformed but sanitized transportation sector for an improved social service delivery and revenue to the State.
The inaugural ceremony witnessed the presence of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mrs Ngozi Izunobi, Directors and Heads of Departments (HoDs) in the Ministry, Nze Franklin Iwunze (Ogbuagu Nkwerre) and Ebere Uzoukwa, SA Media/Special Projects to the Honourable Commissioner for Transport”.