For those who had hope to contest as chairman and councilors in the 31 local government areas in the state may have their hope as good as being dashed as the state governor Udom Emmanuel has said that he rather prefer to pay civil servants their salaries and clear debt owed to pensioners than plan to conduct election.
Speaking at Government House, Uyo on Saturday during a media chat with journalists, Governor Udom emphatically said that “I prefer to pay civil servants and clear debt owed pensioners. About the local government election, we shall do it, but for now, there is no money”.
He further disclosed that the present Transition Committee members of each local government area were not chosen by him but were penciled down by stakeholders of each local government area. He added that even if elections were to be conducted today, there won’t be any different in the assemblage of councils.
The Sensor gathered that the tenure of the present Transition Committee will end next month and the state House of Assembly in January this year had vowed not to extend the transition administration but called on Governor Udom to conduct election before the expiration of the six months period given. But with the six months gradually coming to an end, the plan for election is not in sight, political watchers are said to be watching the Assembly as they plan to renege on their earlier decision.
On the abandoned Science Park, Governor Emmanuel noted that The design and concept of the Science Park need an update because the times have changed. “That design and concept were for that time. Today I can do many transactions, give approvals and get many things done using my iPhone wherever I am. The whole of that Science Park concept and design has to be updated in the first place to meet the current challenges of the time”
While asserting that his administration has in numerous ways encouraged indigenous contractors added that he has used his personal assets to secure a loan of N250m for Ibom Specialist Hospital to run”,
Udom called on journalists in the state to collaborate with the state government in the effort of rebranding the state by engaging in objective reportage while charging them to report news that will promote and edify the state bearing in mind that the state belongs to them. The governor who disclosed that sincerity of purpose, commitment, cooperation and unity remains the driving force behind his success, noted with satisfaction that even in recession experience by other states, Akwa Ibom state sees abundance which has culminated in the inauguration of several life touching projects across the state as well as prompt payment of salaries as at when due. The governor listed over 300 projects in the state as his achievements within his two years in office to include, training and development of Akwa Ibom indigenes, provision of interest free loan, construction/ remodeling of durable road network, construction /equipping of health facilities in the state, investment in education sector, establishment of pencil and tooth pick factory and opening of general industrialization noted with satisfaction that indeed his administration is that of promise made and promise fulfilled since he is working beyond the promise. He restated his avowed commitment to initiate projects that are of economic importance and necessity of the people at the cost that he can defend in future if call upon to render account. While answering questions from journalists, and the governor lamented the inability of the state to conduct the local government election due to the paucity of funds and recession faced in the country, and he however expressed the optimism that all hope is not lost as the exercise will be carried out soonest when the economy improves urging the people to give government maximum support as regards government its arrangements in that direction. Earlier in his opening speech, the commissioner for information and strategy, and Mr. Charles Udoh said that the media parley was an avenue for the governor to present his scorecard to members of the press as he marks two years in office on May have 29,2017. Udoh commended the governor’s giant strides in the area of provision of sustainable/ laudable programmes aimed at making Akwa Ibom state a destination of choice as well as showcasing the state to the outside world for good.