Peter Akpan, Uyo
Militants have threatened hostility against the Akwa Ibom State Government if Governor Udom Emmanuel refuses to make public Federal Government revenue allocations to the 31 local government areas of the state since he became governor in 2015.
The militants, who function under the auspices of Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF), said a day will not be added to the 14 days ultimatum that they gave to the state governor to publish the LGA revenue allocation accounts from the FG for them to embark on a mass protest.
It was gathered that the NDLF had last week accused the Emmanuel administration of stalling development at the grassroots by tampering with council funds since assumption of office.
A statement signed and forwarded to newsmen on Sunday by the state commander of the NDLF, ‘Captain’ Victor Eyoh, and four others asked the state government to prove its innocence by making public records of LGA revenue allocations.
The statement added, “For the avoidance of doubt, as indigenes of Akwa Ibom State, we are very much aware that during the first five months after the inauguration of the outgoing local government councils, all the 31 councils were operating on zero allocations.
”In subsequent months, N6 to N8 million per month were disbursed to each LGA 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 all the monthly receipts of revenue from the Federation Account from June 2015 in respect of the allocations to the 31 local government areas of the state and records of disbursements of same to the councils.”
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Iniobong Ememobong has debunked the state government tampering with the council funds, noting that Governor Emmanuel is not a signatory to any local government council accounts.
Ememobong, who said the NDLF may be working for the opposition, advised the group to approach the Federal Government for records of funds allocations to all the 31 councils in Akwa Ibom.
”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 of not.
”However, for your information, the Governor is not a signatory to any local government council account and therefore cannot tamper with an account he is not a signatory to.
”But it’s amazing how a militant group can now claim to be spokespersons for issues, that makes them sound like an echo chambers of some Akwa Ibom opposition chieftains,” he said.