By Emeka Samuel,Uyo
All Progressives Congress and the Peoples’ Democratic Parties in Akwa Ibom state have continued to trade words over the autonomy of local government councils promised by the All Progressives Congress in the state.
The governorship candidate of the party, Nsima Ekere, had while presenting his blueprint promised to enforce financial autonomy to local government councils if voted into power but the People Democratic Party had faulted the claim arguing that it is not possible “unless there is constitutional amendment”.
At a media briefing on Tuesday,,spokesperson for the APC Governorship Campaign Council, Barr Eseme Eyiboh, described the PDP’s position as an attempt to discredit the new vision of development being propounded by the APC governorship candidate.
According to Eyiboh, “a lot of people in the Peoples Democratic party and the rest of other diseased minded people have argued that enforcement of local government autonomy is not possible unless there is constitutional amendment.
“They are clearly trying to discredit our principal, Obong Nsima Ekere, who is going to introduce rural development’.
He argued that making local governments the focal point of constitutional democracy as Ekere has promised is possible but required courage, understanding and appreciation of the requirements of the law and that it also required a man who has the capacity to differentiate between politics and governance.
“What our principal is saying is that because of his pedigree in public service career-he has been a deputy governor, the chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment Promotion Council and now the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission
“He has promised to make the local government the focals of constitutional democracy, it requires courage, understanding and appreciation of the requirement of the law and of course it requires a man who has the capacity to differentiate between politics and governance” He said.
Eyiboh, who is also the Chairman of the Cross Basin Development Authorities said the argument by the PDP and other people doubting the possibility of triggering development in the local government is a mirage.
He further argued that if the 3% of the Internally Generally Revenue of the state is remitted to the local government councils as stated in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria there would be healthy completion in the councils.