By Emmanuel UgwuÂ in Umuahia
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has lamented the upsurge in the business of mortuary operators and casket makers in Abia State, saying that it was symptomatic of bad governance and neglect of peopleâ€™s welfare by the present administration.
However, when THISDAY called Enyinnaya Appollos, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu the Abia State to react to the claim by SDP, he said it was a funny story which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP should react to as a party, adding that we could go ahead and publish.
Steering chairman of SDP, Hon Chidi Nwosu stated this in a chat with journalists in Umuahia where he gave a damning assessment of the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu over the past three years.
â€œThe only thriving business in Abia State today is mortuary and casket business,â€ he said, adding, â€œit is a sad development indicating that more deaths are being recorded in Abia.
He noted that the people of Abia were being subjected to â€œuntold hardshipsâ€Â Â by their government which had refused to pay its workers their well-deserved salaries, while retirees are denied gratuities and pensions.
According to him, the state government had created the â€œstifling environmentâ€Â Â that make Abians to be dying of hunger and sickness as they could neither pay for food nor afford the cost of medical services.
Nwosu, who is a former state lawmaker, said that no fewer than nine casket-making ventures had sprung up along Umuahia – UzuakoliÂ Â road, adding that the Ikpeazu administration had no moral justification to allow Abia people to be dyingÂ Â â€œlike mosquitoes sprayed with powerful insecticideâ€.
He said that the situation had worsened to the extent that even with the upsurge in casket business in Abia the demands for caskets were not being met hence Abians go across the border to source it from Akwa Ibom State.
â€œAbians have become the major patrons of casket makers in neighbouring Akwa Ibom State,â€ he lamented, noting that â€œthose in positions of authority in Abia pretend that all is well and cover their maladministration with phony awards procured with public fundsâ€.
But Nwosu said that all hope was not lost as SDP was poised to free Abians from the grips of the present government that create poverty instead of prosperity and inflict hardships on people. He said that the party would take over control of government house come 2019.
The Abia SDP steering chairman said that as a people-oriented party the SDP would not allow Abia people to continue to wallow in poverty and hardships.