By Patrick Obia
Following the pending conduct of Local Government election in the Cross River State, which has been met with mixed reactions amongst Cross Riverians, a Legal practitioner, Barrister Utum Eteng, has described as “a time bomb” if not rushed to conduct.
Mr. Utum made this known while speaking as a guest on Hit 95.9 FM regular Sunday program “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” where he avow that it is the responsibility of the State to conduct Local Government elections.
“Everybody knows what is happening and what is about to happen. It is important that the State Government pay staff from the allocation meant for it and leaving what is for the Local Government for the Local Government. It is the responsibility of the State to conduct Local Government elections and if you look at the budget of almost every year some provisions are made about Local Government; why can’t they go to the provisions already made ?.
“Any Government that is unable to get democratically elected Government will not access the fund to those Local Government Council. It is important that we should rush to ensure that Local Government elections are organized so that we can put ourselves away from this time bomb.” He said.
On his own part, the Chairman, Association of Cross River Online Journalists, Comrade Darlington Edem, averred that the State do not need Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NIFIU), to instigate Local Government elections adding that the State is standing on one leg if not conducted.
“You don’t even need NIFIU to instigate or force you to conduct Local Government election like you heard, it is a constitutional matter and of course, inability or refusal to this, you have completely cut off the tripod leg of the Government system; they share three tiers of Government, you completely cut off one leg and the two legs cannot stand, obviously a leg is missing and we are not standing well in this State.
“What we should be praying for the Government of Cross River State to do first of all, is to do what is constitutionally right, conduct Local Government elections, let Local Government structure be in place. That is the first thing we should be considering first.” Mr Darlington ended.
It is of note that LG elections have not being conducted in the State and Heads of Local Government Areas (HOLGAs) are currently playing the roles of Chairmen as the Governor has not conducted LG elections in four years.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.