The ongoing decongestion of the commercial city inline with the decision of Governor Willie Obiano to get the city rid off touts, illegal structures and illegal revenue agents have continued to generate reactions with a member of the Decongestion Committee, Chief Rommy Ezeonkwuka (Ogilisi Igbo) declaring that those who have been stealing and milking revenues due for government will be made to stop it.
Speaking on the activities of the Committee, Ezeonwuka who is a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) revealed that investigations have shown that market leaders along with highly placed businessmen are behind illegal revenues agents and multiple taxation rocking Onitsha over the years.
He alleged that the said market leaders and highly placed businessmen are behind those boys parading different types of tickets and emblems including those who extort money as levies, tolls from visiting traders, motorists, market women, wheel barrow pushers and traders in Onitsha, adding that Obiano’s desire to sanitize Onitsha has to be carried out to the fullest.
“Those boys working like touts and forcibly extorting money from people are working for some market leaders and highly placed people. That is why the boys are untouchable. Any attempt to arrest and question them always meet strong resistance,” he said.
He further alleged that those who have stolen and milked government revenue for many years are using what they generate to build plazas, hotels and petrol filling stations to the detriment of the state treasury and the image of Onitsha as a leading commercial city in Nigeria.
The Ogilisi Igbo observed with dismay that the activities of these touts and illegal revenues agents have reduced the image of Onitsha to a subject of ridicule, scorn and odium thereby scaring people from other parts of the country from coming to either live or do business noting that people now prefer to go and do business in the neighbourhood at Asaba
He posited that the imperative need to sanitize Onitsha and restore the reputable image of the city in the comity of cities by Governor Obiano makes the job of the Decongestion Committee a serious one maintaining that the Committee will strive hard to live up to the expectations of the Governor.
He added: “Obiano has given us the mandate to sanitize Onitsha and restore the city back to its glory and we have to achieve the target. It.is not acceptable to hear that people now prefer to live and do business in Asaba and likewise, the revenue that is suppose to be generated in Onitsha is moving to Asaba”
He commended the Commissioners for Transport, Trade and environment for his support calling on the Governor to ignore those opposed to the Committee and the Commissioners. Saying they are enemies of progress. .
He noted that the revenue thieves are desperate to continue stealing forever and as such they are out to fight the Commissioners or any other government officials that stood against them.
While urging Governor Obiano to ignore the rumour mongers blackmailing and petitions, he assured the Governor that the Committee will deliver on the mandate and won’t yield to pressure, intimidation or black mailing
He also commended the security agencies such like the Police, Soldiers and Vigilance groups for aiding the activities of the Committee with adequate cover.