My Desire Is To See Strong Institutions – Chief Ifere Paul

My Desire Is To See Strong Institutions.

Yesterday, the 16th of March, 2020, I submitted a petition against the Cross River State government for “Indiscriminate/Illegal Deductions & Withdrawals from Local Government Funds.

My petition was borne out of the startling revelations by the owner of Cross River Watch, Mr. Agba Jalingo.

I want it to be on record that I do not hate anyone mentioned in the petition, neither do I hate the governor who however, enjoys immunity from investigation and prosecution.

I want it to be on record that I hate the processes of governance that seemed to tilt more towards public officers corruptly enriching themselves. What we have seen in Agba Jalingo revelations is an attempt by Cross River State government to use Head of Local Government Administrators to pilfer the resources of the 18 LGAs.

As a person, I have stood for the growth of institutional development that should enhance public service delivery to the citizenry. I believe so much on strong independent institutions. I believe so much on the independence and autonomy of LGAs in Nigeria. I have also demonstrated this by suing the Cross River State government in 2016 for tampering with the 18 LGA funds. I also sued the Cross River State government for failing to pay past councilors their furniture allowances and severance benefits.

As a candidate vying for the office of the Local Government Chairman of Yakurr LGA, I will continue to fight for an independent and truly autonomous LGA. It does not matter whether I win the election or not. But that, in the end, even my opponent who won should appreciate what it takes to be autonomous and those that fought for it.

My petition was sent to EFCC, NFIU, ICPC and SERAP.

My prayers were straight forward:

  1. I want these anti corruption agencies and transparency monitoring groups to investigate the roles of the 18 Local Government Administrators over these illegal/Indiscriminate deductions.
  2. I want these agencies to investigate the role of the Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, Mrs. Stella Odey and her role in perpetuating this continued corruption.
  3. I want these agencies to also investigate the Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Mfon Bassey, (an Akwa Ibom man who has become a security risk but the House of Assembly did not see that during his confirmation process.), whose office is being used to retire these illegal/Indiscriminate deductions.
  4. I want these agencies to prosecute these individuals if investigation proves to be true that these individuals truly aided the Government of Cross River State to perpetuate corruption by these illegal/Indiscriminate deductions.

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