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Akwa-Ibom 2023: gov Emmanuel, councilors on warpaths

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By Prince Owong

Local Government Councilors across the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State are poised to disappoint the State Governor Mr Emmanuel Udom during the forth coming PDP Party’s primaries.

In a meeting held on Saturday in Onna, home town of the Governor, the Councilors, resolved not to obey the directives of the State Governor during the Party Primaries due to the way they were been treated.

Among issues raised as part of grievances of the LGA legislators include, non implementation of the mandatory training and seminars, allowances, constituency projects for Councilors as it was done during Governor Akpabio’s tenure, severance gratuity of the 6th legislature and total neglect by the State Governor.

“The local government system is the closest to the people but since our inception, we have nothing to show to our people, we have been abandoned while expecting that we will be used during the primaries, it won’t work, we have resolved to vote our conscience”, said one of the Councilors from Essien Udim.”

According to him, the State Governor was claiming that they were appointed and not elected, adding that the State House of Assembly had over the years received proper attention from the Governor while Councilors were treated with disdain, and that the Third Tier of Government had been rendered useless.

“If we are not treated fairly, we will register our collective grievances during the party primaries, including the gubernatorial primary”, one of the Councilors who craved anonymity said.

“Former Governor Godswill Akpabio gave the Councilors during his tenure, a sense of belonging, he recognized the importance of the Third Tier of Government and ensured that Councilors related with their constituents through constituency projects”, a Councilor from Onna said, adding that they were branded as appointees by the Governor.

“It is very appalling to treat elected representatives of the people with disdain only to turn around and expect loyalty from them during party primaries, we will not be fooled again”, he narrated.

It was not clear if the aggrieved local government lawmakers had resolved to vote for a particular governorship aspirant, having kicked against the choice of the governor but what is obvious is their readiness to defy the directives of the Governor during the forth coming party’s primaries.