Hoodlums take over as council chairmen abandon A’Ibom Security Villages

Posted by News Express | 27 July 2021 | 577 times

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•Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel

 

By IDONGESIT ASHAMERI, Uyo

The multi-million Naira Security Villages built across the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom have become hideouts for criminal activities as council chairmen have abandoned their official accommodations for the capital city.

The security villages were designed by previous administrations in the state to accommodate top security personnel and senior officials of the 31 local government councils of the state.

The initiative was to compliment the “Housings for All” policy of former Governor Godswill Akpabio’s administration,  under the Local Government Administration Law in his first term.

The villages were further established to bring the government closer to the people and reduce rural-urban drift and also encourage the council chairmen to live in their headquarters, to acquaint themselves of the challenges as well as meet the need of the people.

To ensure that the detached bungalows with sporting and recreational facilities were put to expected use, the sixth Assembly, under Barr Onofiok Luke made a resolution,  mandating all 31 council Chairmen to relocate to the Security Villages in their respective areas.

About four years since the resolution was made,  council chairmen have continued to operate from Uyo, the capital city.

Apart from a few of the buildings occupied by security chiefs, many others have been completely abandoned to rot away, and are fast becoming a safe haven for miscreants.

DAILY INDEPENDENT Correspondents who visited some of the estates reports that while that the one in Uyo have been converted into an orphanage home; the one in Eket was allocated to the Army for accommodation, while that of Ikot Ekpene has no council officials living in them.

Others located in rural parts of the state have also been hampered by their remote location, making it unattractive to the senior council officials thereby becoming a hideout for criminals.

This situation has resulted in a high level of absenteeism among council officials, as many are not always available in their offices due to the distance between the state capital and places of work.

Reacting to this ugly situation, the State Chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Mr Franklyn Isong frowned that the absence of key council officials have impacted negatively on service delivery and worsens the already low morale and productivity of council staff.

He said the abandonment meant that millions of Naira spent in building the estates may have been wasted except for a few of them that have been put to another usage.

On his part, however, the chairman, Ini LGA, Mr Israel Idaisin said he has activated the security village to functional use as key leadership hierarchy of the council and other security chiefs in the area were residing within the security village.

For the 100 unit housing Estate in the area, Idaisin disclosed that the estate in his domain has been leased to a  private school operator, as a polytechnic, in order to send off criminal elements, who had taken over the facility for unwholesome activities.

Meanwhile, Chairman, House of Assembly Committee of Local Government, Hon. Mark Esset who recalled that the sixth Assembly had passed a resolution, mandating Local Government Councils Chairmen and other key officers to relocate to the security villages to be closer to the people, regretted that Council Chairmen have continued to ignore the resolution of the Assembly.

Esset used the medium to disclose plans by his committee to embark on a quarterly visit to councils to ascertain performance and state of security villages across the state, to check defaulters. (Daily Independent)


Source: News Express

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