Abia: APC asks Gov. Ikpeazu to conduct LG polls
The Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has applauded the Federal Government for implementing the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) guidelines on the distribution of local government funds, but added that operating such system with appointed Transition Committee Chairmen (TCC), is useless.
The party called for proper elections to be conducted in the 17 Local government areas of the state, to enable the people elect those who will oversee their council affairs.
The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Benedict Godson, who spoke in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday, in Umuahia, berated the recent appointment of Transition Committee Chairmen for the 17 local government areas of the state by the governor, pointing out that the government act would not augur well for the Local Government Areas,(LGAs), financial autonomy.
His words, “Just few days ago, all LGAs got their June allocations directly. This new system ought to bring about prudence, accountability and transparency in handling the finances of LGAs, but in Abia I don’t think the aim of that financial autonomy will be realistic if politically appointed TC-chairmen are allowed to head our 17 LGAs.
“Those guys are cronies of the governor and are only there to fulfill the mandates of those who put them there. The whole struggle will end up producing no result if we keep accepting appointees as Chairmen.
“The Local Government is a different tier of government and should be allowed to decide what to do with their new funds, but unfortunately that’s not the case in Abia.
“We know PDP in their usual manner in Abia must have told the whole TC-chairmen to cooperate with the state to make things easier for them.
“No matter what the debt level of each LGA in Abia might be, you can’t tell me that in the system where the least amount gotten by an LGA in Abia is N120,555,809,58 which is Ukwa East and the highest N229, 514,988,80 which is Aba South that each LGA can’t take care of its staff and still carry out necessary projects?
“The problem is that some people who eat fat from LGA funds have played cleverly to appoint TC-chairmen to enable them control LGA funds.
“Just take a good look those they appointed there and tell me who among them is not a crony of the people in charge of the state government?
“NFIU has made an effort, but the only way to consolidate this effort is to stop the appointment of TC-chairmen.
“They have nothing to offer. I repeat, the only way to end these illegal deductions, diversions and embezzlement of LGA funds is through election.
“If elections are conducted, the governors cannot put their unpopular cronies as popular candidates and other party will stand better chances of winning some LGAs and through good service, they’ll expose the evil on ground.”
Meanwhile, efforts made by our correspondent to reach the governor’s new spokesman, Onyebuchi Ememanka, for his response were unsuccessful.
It will be recalled Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led, had approved the appointment of Transition Committee chairmen for the 17 local government areas of Abia State.
This was made known last week in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Enemanka, and obtained by newsmen in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.