Chief Kenneth Okonkwo, MD, OCHA Brigade
The Anambra State Government through the office of Director, Superintendent General of Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA) Brigade, has described as unfounded the alleged demolition of structures at Nkwelle Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area and at the defunct International Airport Land located at Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, noting that the land at Nkwelle-Ezunaka was acquired by the government in 1934 for farm settlement (Agricultural purposes) and all compensation duly paid to the community.
Addressing newsmen in his Umuawulu country home in Awka South Council Area of the state, the Managing Director of OCHA Brigade, Chief Kenneth Okonkwo, said they deemed it necessary to react to the allegations levelled against the government of Governor Willie Obiano in order to set the records straight.
According to him, they acted on instruction of the Governor following complaints that certain unscrupulous elements had encroached and erected illegal structures of various kinds in the Anambra State government's lands located at Nkwelle Ezunaka, Trans-Nkisi, Akpaka forest and the defunct Oba International Airport.
'As a Law Enforcement Agency, the management of the Brigade sent warning letters to the dissidents to stop the erection of illegal structures forthwith but to no avail. All efforts made by the Anambra State Government, to stop them, as well as all efforts made for a peaceful resolution, proved abortive.
'The Agency in collaboration with other security agencies, as empowered by law, moved to the aforementioned areas to instil discipline and sanity and prevent further exploitation of the people by the cabal which thrives on lawlessness.
'The agric business has been going on until recently when the Nkwelle Ezunaka youths moved in there with pump action guns and other dangerous weapons and chased away agric extension workers, maimed them, vandalized their properties and destroyed all the agricultural buildings,' he alleged.
The security expert said the youths of the area beat up and chased away the officials from the office of the Surveyor General and Physical Planning Officers to enable them to proceed with what he called their dirty land business and erection of illegal structures, not minding the repeated warnings from the government through the media.
Chief Okonkwo who is the leader of Anambra State Joint Land Recovery Task Force, said they were saddled with the responsibility of recovery of government's lands which had been encroached on by land grabbers.
Reacting to the alleged 2 billion naira re-election campaign fund raising, Chief Okonkwo said the state government never asked anybody for any gratifications, let alone asking them to raise 2 billion naira for the re-election campaign bid of Gov. Willie Obiano.
'It is pertinent to state categorically that the Agency has never asked anybody for any gratifications, contrary to the false publication on the Social Media and can never ask for such in discharge of its lawful duties. I hereby call on Ndi Anambra to disregard the frivolous publication as it lacks merit, fairness and objectivity in all ramifications,' he explained.
Speaking on the functions of the Brigade, Chief Okonkwo said that the agency was set up by the current state government to ensure that Anambra State was clean and healthy, instil discipline, orderliness in the state and also to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of illegal revenue collectors, as well as recovery of state government properties, noting that the creation of the agency was backed by a law passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly.
The OCHA Brigade boss, advised the people of Nkwelle-Ezunaka and Oba to go about their normal businesses without fear and also to develop their genuine lands as they wished, assuring them of government's protection.
Chief Okonkwo said Gov. Willie Obiano's led administration was committed and determined in ensuring that life and property were protected, noting that the government would continue to fight for the collective interests of Anambrarians.
He said the present administration would continue to lead the state towards the path of economic recovery and emancipation.