A group of Niger Delta militants, the Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF), at the weekend, dared Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State over federal allocations to local governments in the state since 2015. The militants issued the governor 14 days ultimatum to publish all allocations to the 31 local governments from June 2015 to 2020, threatening a protest and disruption of activities in the state.
The NDLF in a statement by the State Commander, Captain Victor Eyoh, and four others, protested that the governor has been starving the local governments of funds for grassroots development.
The group in the statement declared: “For the avoidance of doubt, as indigenes of Akwa Ibom State, we are aware that during the first five months after the inauguration of the outgoing local government councils, the 31 councils were operating on zero allocations.
‘’In subsequent months, N6 to N8 million per month were disbursed to each local government for the payment of political office holders, elected councilors and traditional rulers.
‘’We, therefore, stand by our earlier claims that the state government has been illegally tampering with local government funds, and challenge the government to publish for public scrutiny details of the monthly receipts of revenue from the Federation Account from June 2015 in respect of the allocations to the 31 local governments and records of disbursements of same to the councils.”
However, the Akwa Ibom State government has debunked the claim, saying that Governor Udom Emmanuel is not signatory to local government account. The state government was of the view that the militants were working the script of the opposition politicians in the state, taking the place of opposition leaders.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Iniobong Ememobong, was said to have insisted that Governor Emmanuel is not a signatory to any local government council account.
The commissioner had further declared: ‘’The publication of allocation to local government areas is done by the Federal Government and is available for all to see.
‘’The local government leadership through ALGON can answer whether the governor has been tampering with their allocation or not.
‘’However, for your information, the governor isn’t a signatory to any local government council account and therefore, cannot tamper with an account he’s not a signatory to.
‘’But it’s amazing how a militant group can now claim to be spokespersons for issues that make them sound like echo chambers of some Akwa Ibom opposition chieftains’’.
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