Militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF) have given Governor Udom Emmanuel 14 days ultimatum to publish federal allocations to local governments in Akwa Ibom State.
The agitators asked the governor to make public records of council allocations received by the state from June 2015 to date, failing which they will stage a mass protest, which may lead to some grave impacts on the state.
The NDLF last week accused the Emmanuel administration of stalling development at the grassroots by tampering with council funds since his assumption of office in 2015.
But the state government denied the allegation
In a statement at the weekend by the state commander of the NDLF, ‘Captain’ Victor Eyoh and four others, the group asked the state government to prove its innocence by making public records of council allocations.
The statement said: “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 N8million per month were disbursed to each local government for the payment of political office holders, elected councillors 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.”
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong, has denied tampering with council funds, saying Governor Emmanuel is not a signatory to any local government council account.
He said: ‘’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’’.