Ekere Insists On Financial Autonomy For LGAs
Ekere insists on financial autonomy for LGAs …unveils agenda for Itu, Ibiono Ibom The governorship campaign tour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State commenced on Tuesday with Ibiono Ibom and Itu Local Government Areas playing host to the governorship flagbearer, Obong Nsima Ekere, and his running mate, Dr. Amadu Attai. At both rallies, Ekere reiterated his resolve to grant financial autonomy to local government, resuscitate ailing industries, engender intense infrastructural development, safeguard the state, pay bursaries to students and implement other life touching policies. At the Ibiono Ibom rally held at Okoita, Ekere lamented that local government despite being the third tier of government has been starved of funds. According to him, this has led to underdevelopment of the grassroots. His words: “The Local Government is the third tier of the Government, we want it to be independent so that people at the grassroots can feel the impact of good governance which an APC government in this state will offer. Ibiono Ibom is very large, but because of paucity of funds, nothing is being done here and in other Local Government Areas.” The governorship hopeful while promising that his administration will “banish poverty in the land”, maintained that he has developed Ibiono Ibom though his office as Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and assured that he will sustain the gesture as governor. He said the area has lagged behind developmentally, saying Ibiono Ibom will be one of the Special Development Areas under his administration. Ekere called on the people of Ibiono Ibom to vote enmasse for all candidates of the APC in the elections. In Itu Local Government Area, the guber hopeful was welcomed by thousands of supporters at the venue of the rally, Primary School, Mbak Atai. Addressing Itu people, he posited that the huge turnout in Ibiono Ibom and Itu signifies the acceptability of the APC and called on party faithful to keep faith in the party. He promised to bring permanent peace to Itu by ensuring that boundary problems between communities and neighbouring Cross River State. On industrialization, the APC guber flagbearer promised to revive the moribund Quality Ceramics Limited which has been in coma since 1992. Canvassing votes for President Muhammadu Buhari, Ekere said the federal government has done Itu and Ibiono Ibom well with the construction of the Calabar – Itu – Ikot Ekpene Highway. His promise to offer scholarship and pay N25,000 bursary to students earned him an endorsement from the National Association of Itu Students (NAIS). The students presented a ‘Congratulatory Award’ to him. Chapter executive members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were received into the APC by the State Chairman of the party, Hon. Ini Okopido. Mrs. Ese Nsima Ekere, Senator Ita Enang, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator John Udoedehe, Obong Umana Okon Umana, Group Captain Sam Ewang (Rtd.), Dr. Ita Udosen and hordes of other party bigwigs attended the two rallies. Uyo Senatorial District candidate, Rt. Hon. Bassey Etim; Itu/ Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency candidate, Barr. Edet Ikotidem; Member representing Itu State Constituency/ APC House of Assembly flagbearer (Itu), Hon. Idongesit Ituen; and House of Assembly flagbearer for Ibiono Ibom, Mr. Owoediyene Ekpenyong, were also in attendance.
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