Local government areas which are supposed to feel the heartbeats of the people at the grassroots seeing that they are closest to them, seems to be ignorant of their duties sadly because those without any iota of passion for the growth of the people are forced on the people as council chairmen by the state government who in most cases have full control over them.
This manifested itself in an unscheduled visit by members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly led by Hon. Mark Esset, the member representing Nsit Atai LGA on the 2nd of July to seven local government councils within the state as part of their duties to carry out oversight investigative functions as contained in section 88 of the 1999 constitution.
SecretReporters gathered that the lawmakers who visited Ibiono, Ikpot Ekpene and five other local government councils at about 11 am expecting to be received warmly by the council chairmen were disappointed to discover that out of the seven local governments areas visited, six of the council chairman were nowhere close to their various local government offices with only a handful of council workers seen present at work during the visit. The only person present during the visit was the Chairman of Ibiono LGA who was said to be taken unaware but nevertheless was present to receive the lawmakers.
More worrisome to the lawmakers during the visit was that most of the local government council offices visited were dilapidated and begging for immediate renovation not to mention the overgrown bushes which have also transformed the councils to a conducive habitat for reptiles and other dangerous creatures to thrive.
On further enquiry by the lawmakers concerning the level of work done on projects embarked on by the councils, the lawmakers were dumbfounded to discover that these council chairmen in order to conceal their nefarious activities embarked on projects which are neither known to the council nor approved by the Finance and General Purposes Committee (FGPC).
A source who spoke with our correspondent alleged that the council chairmen only come to the council once or twice a week as they live in the capital city of Uyo instead of their local government areas seemingly because of the dilapidated state of roads, health facilities and other social amenities in their local government areas.
There are high expectations among critics that following the recent resolve by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) for local governments to receive direct allocations from the Federal Government there is every tendency that the nonchalant attitude of council chairmen towards their duty may be on the increase as they may not have the experience to handle such funds.
When Hon. Mark Esset was contacted via his mobile number 08039****02, he declined giving official details of their findings during the visit to the local government councils.