By Divine Sam-:
Cold war between councillors in Abak Local Government Area and the Council Chairman, Barr. Imoh Williams over abandoned Legislative Chambers and non-payment of the lawmakers’ entitlements has reached feverish dimensions and could explode any time soon.
It would be recalled that the Council Chairman had in early 2018 began the construction of the Chambers in which some prominent elders of the area supported with millions of naira. The Chairman was said to have claimed to put more millions of naira for the project he promised to deliver within six months.
But more than two years after and barely six months to the end of the present administration, the project is still at the lintel level while weeds and reptiles have taken over the place. This is said to have drawn the anger of the lawmakers that don’t have an office to carry out their Legislative function but only jam themselves in the chairman’s former office.
As if lack of Chambers to carry out their official duty of law making for the area is not enough, the councillors are said to be owed their entitlements. Investigations revealed that the councillors could not carry out their oversight functions or attend seminars as they have been relegated to the background by the Chairman. Worst of it is that they’re more or less living from hand to mouth as they depend on the basic monthly salary and could not attend to the need of the constituents or embark on constituency project.
This is just as the Chairman and his brothers have bought almost every available land in Abak and Obio Akpa of Akwa Ibom State University and busy competing with the latest mansions to the detriment of the electorate.
The current development has pitched the councillors against the Chairman and the latter has vowed to open up a petition to Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.
One of the visibly angry councillors who said that the apartment from the abandoned Legislative Chambers, the lawmakers are all out for the battle to finish even as he said that they are mobilizing against the second term bid of the Chairman. He warned that the Chairman may go the way of Nsit Atai and Uyo Local Government counterparts.
It will be recalled that the Council Chairman was last year suspended from office by the State House of Assembly due abuse of office that led to the maltreatment of someone that worked for him and he refused to pay but ordered his aide to maltreat the person. Aside from that, he is equally battling with contractors that executed contract for the council in which he engaged them but has refused to pay them even after they have delivered on projects according to the terms of agreement.
When the Leader of the Legislature, Hon. Solomon Udeme was approached to react on the abandoned Legislative Chambers, he simply said ” go and look at the project by yourself and see if it has been completed. Councillors have been treated badly especially in the area of entitlements that is due to them.”
Another councillor who refused to be named said that the Council Chairman is the worst person to have occupied the office, adding that the remaining six months is a battle to finish as they have approached the State House of Assembly to seek redress.
“Imagine us as elected representatives do not have anything to show the constituents while the Chairman and his brothers run the council as personal property and busy acquiring wealth at the detriment of Abak people”, he said angrily