Controversies Trailing The Sack of Abia ALGON Chair

By Tony Icheku

Why does it appear that development of Abia state appears stagnant, despite the abundance of resources? Why is impunity the badge of honour for government officials in the State?

One need not be a mystic to discern the answers to these and other troubling questions: A cabal holds the State hostage, and they respect neither the Constitution nor the people. Their loyalty is to whatever god they serve and their stomach. They are the ones Hon Michael Nwoke referred to in his statement as follows: "It has come to my knowledge that some unscrupulous persons have decided to continue to tow the illegitimate path despite calls to quit. It remains unfortunate that some persons have decided not to rest until Local Governments in Abia become a laughing stock.

"....Same people have focused on ensuring that Local Government Chairmen not loyal to their cabal will not succeed including the state ALGON Chairman and they go about bragging and issuing unnecessary threats...."

It could be his irrepressible nature? Or sheer audacity? Call it what you may, but  Hon Michael Nwoke, the Executive Chairman of Obingwa Local Government Area, LGA is now sailing through troubled waters for breaking the Secrecy Code that is  the tradition of government business in PDP-ruled Abia state since 1999

And for being so brazen, for daring the 'cabal',  Nwoke had been removed by his colleagues as Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Abia state chapter. One can safely say for now, he is not sitting pretty in his elected office.

Perhaps Nwoke is an idealist? Yes, in the cult-like system that obtains in Abia Government, only an idealist, being part and parcel of the system could ask questions bothering on accountability and transparency, not just behind closed doors, but in the Press of all places:

"May I also remind them that as constitutionally elected Chairmen, the Local Government as an independent arm of government is expected to manage its resources without undue interference", you guessed right, that is Nwoke.

For displaying such effrontery as above, Nwoke claims  threats were made on his life and that of his family. In  a statement,  Tuesday, September 7, the LG boss lamented that his life and that of his  family has been  being threatened by some persons because “Now, they are threatening fire and brimstone because I queried  queried why the purchase of vehicles for Local Government Chairmen and Deputies should come from them in a democratic setting like ours".

Don't get it twisted. As an elected official, Nwoke was standing on his constitutional rights, but in the theatre of the absurd that is government in Abia, questions bothering on transparency is akin to blasphemy. Indeed, those who ought to have rallied to Nwoke's defence, the legislative arm of the Local Government administration were the first to tackle him

“The Abia State Council Leaders of Nigeria (ACLON) as part of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Abia State Chapter, having seen the media attacks by the State  ALGON chairman wish to dissociate themselves from these attacks against the State Government.”

Finally, his colleagues, on whose behalf he fights have abandoned him. Shameless men, their names will certainly be written in the Black Book of history.

Contrary to their claims that Nwoke's claims are 'provocatively distasteful...' They are facts. Which of the 16 LGA chairman can award contract for a borehole to be dug? Which of them can even order that the grass in front of his office be trimmed without recourse to the governor? Shameless men!

Of course Nwoke's claims can ignite anarchy and chaos, and it ought to because the people ought to rise up and query the thieves who brazenly loot the treasury of the LGAs. Every month millions of Naira are released to the LGAs as allocation from FAAC, but these funds simply develop wings and dissappear. Is such brazen thievry not provocative? Is it not distasteful? Shall our communities continue to wallow in poverty in the midst of plenty for peace to be engendered?

The 16 LGA chairmen who moved against the truth, rather than rouse their manhood and fight for accountability, transparency and  development of our LGAs should hide their faces in shame! For them, their day of judgment is not far off.

The travails of Nwoke is not about procurement of vehicles afterall, but about due process, about autonomy of the LGAs funded as the the third tier of government, but administered by state governors as a unit in their offices