In keeping with the present administration’s pledge to revive the local government system in Imo State, the Ihedioha led government last week, took bold steps to hold a Joint Allocation Committee (JAC) meeting with the 27 recently constituted Chairmen of Interim Management committees thus indicating a new phase in the history of the local government administration system in Imo which held the last JAC meeting eight years ago.
Speaking to journalists in Owerri over the weekend, the Special Adviser (SA) to the governor on local government and chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. (Chief) Mayor Eze Chukwudi, disclosed that no local government council in the state will be left with less than
N44 million after paying staff salaries. This he reiterated is a far cry from what obtained in the system for the past eight years, of Okorocha.
He noted that with this development and some arrangements, the state governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has kept his pledge of not tampering with local government funds as the statutory 5% of the allocation that goes to the traditional rulers will no longer be misused since the Royal fathers will surely get their full payments.
He stated that the governor has done his bid and kept his part of the bargain, and left for the masses, “the electorate to hold their representatives accountable for their money. They should device a means of demanding transparency and record of stewardship from the chairmen”,Eze stated.
Fielding questions on the ex-governor Okorocha’s brainchild called community government councils, Mayor Eze retorted, “there is no way that system will operate now. He reminded Imolites that the former governor Okorocha, had often said he does not believe in due process hence credited the CGC system as fourth tier of his government arbitrarily without consultation or due process and wondered how the system would succeed in an administration that believes in due process and rule of law”.
He declared that His Excellency Rt. Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, a former federal lawmaker believes in due process and will do away with any programme or policy that is not consistent with the letters of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
Responding to another question on the sincerity of the state government to conduct local government election in six months, given the fact that the Okorocha led Rescue Mission government severally promised to conduct the election but dribbled Imolites many times with nothing coming out of it at last, Mayor Eze said “the present government cannot be compared with the former one”. He added that so far,Ihedioha has been known to be a man of his words. “He has not failed to keep any of his promises”, he stated.
Speaking further, Eze explained that Governor Ihedioha was in the vanguard and campaign for local government autonomy and it will be his joy to see it in operation, in his own state since charity begins at home.
The Special Adviser to the governor also revealed that the chairmen of those local government without befitting secretariats have been handed prototype of secretariat to build which is among other projects that Local government will undertake.
In conclusion, he stated that as far as local government system is concerned Ihedioha has come to return local government to the people and the era of sharing of the local government funds is gone.