By David Olalekan.
The Youth Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has condemned the rejection of financial autonomy for local councils by the 31 Council Chairmen in the state.
Reacting to the joint suit filed by the state government and the council chairmen opposing the Federal Government’s decision to disburse council allocations directly to the 774 local councils in the country, the youth arm of the APC in a statement issued by its Chairman Obong Iniobong John, expressed disappointment at the state government’s “conspiracy” with the council chairman to stunt the growth of the grassroots.
The statement said, ”The evil conspiracy between the Akwa Ibom state Government and the local government chairmen against the autonomy granted the local government by the APC federal government and to us, it is absurdity of the highest order.
”At this juncture, we like to know the fears and interests of the state government. Is it that the state government can’t function without controlling local government funds?
”We understand that the local government chairmen were well “appreciated” by the state government to sign against their freedom or autonomy. To say that they are hypocrites and sycophants is an understatement.
”This is the first time we’ve seen how someone was paid by his slave master to sign against his freedom. It is really absurd.
”The suit by the Akwa Ibom State Government and the local government chairmen against local government autonomy is the height of open display of disdain for accountability and grassroots development which was the primary essence of the local government system.
”Any local government chairman who says he or she is not competent and capable of controlling and managing funds accruing to his or her Council should resign immediately. It shows he or she never had any plans to develop his or her area”, the statement said.
The APC youths cautioned the state governor to shelve his interest in local government funds, explaining that the people of Akwa Ibom State intend forthwith to hold their council chairmen accountable for the resources that’d be entrusted into their care.