Posted by News Express | 1 July 2019 | 1,089 times
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State has cried out over an alleged ploy by the Okezie Ikpeazu-led government in the state “to further loot and fraudulently divert the 17 LGA funds using the newly inaugurated Transition Committee chairmen as conduit pipes.”
“While Abians expect the governor and his government to initiate legitimate actions that will transparently instill proper utilisation and deployment of local government allocations remitted directly to the local government coffers for the purposes of driving development at the rural areas and compulsorily revive governance at the third tier; thus complying with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, who acted through the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), the reverse is rather the case.
“The reappointment of the immediate past TC Chairmen whom in Ikpeazu’s hollowed calculation, believed to have contributed to the massively flawed and disputatiously election returning him as governor, is to say the least, designed to extremely loot and divert Abia local government funds under the guise ‘security votes’ and phantom projects,” a statement on Sunday by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ebere Uzoukwa, said.
According to the statement, “There is no gainsaying that the TC chairmen are recruited as stooge to criminally sustain the looting spree that has denied Abians and residents the desired but basic developmental needs in the rural areas.
“This calls for serious concern hence it negates the whole essence of direct funding to the local government councils in the country. It is also disheartening upon remembering the past when local government councils meaningfully embarked on infrastructural and developmental projects, regularly paid salaries and veritably sustained micro and socio-economic programmes at the grassroots.
“The financial malfeasance as committed by the governor and his hirelings in government have hellishly deepened the sufferings of the people in all facets hence it reinforces government failures. The inherent danger is that the fact that local government workers will be perennially owed. Development will also remain a mirage in the local communities that populate Abia.”
Consequently, Abia APGA invited “the anti-graft agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to beam its searchlight on Abia council funds to henceforth monitor closely all financial activities in the 17 local government areas of Abia State.”
“We also enjoin all relevant authorities including the National Assembly to urgently put every constitutional arrangement in place; abolish the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECs) so as to pave way for Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible and acceptable elections that will usher-in responsible and responsive government at the local government areas of Abia and Nigeria.
“It is our fervent belief that this audacious step, if taken, will guarantee local government financial autonomy being implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement further said.
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