Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba has called out the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in the state for its call on the federal government to stop releasing the statutory funds for the 21 local governments in the State until elections are conducted into the local governments.
Adinuba in a statement today in Awka said the call grew out of profound mischief, as according to him, the question of elections into local governments in the state is the subject of litigation at the Supreme Court.
“It has come to the attention of the people and government of Anambra State that an amorphous group of hired guns working for a tiny coterie of professional politicians known as the Inter-Party Advisory Council has been going round media houses in the state lobbying journalists to support the call to stop the statutory funds for our 21 local government areas. It is embarrassing that these professional politicians have no regard for the highest court in the land and want the good people of Anambra State to join them in their contempt of court. These professional politicians want the Federal Government to assume powers it does not have by seizing funds for the people of Anambra State. When the Olusegun Obasanjo administration withheld funds accruing to the local governments in Lagos State over the creation of new local governments in Lagos State, the courts ruled that the action was illegal and unconstitutional. It is tantamount to the dethronement of the reason for some politicians from Anambra State to ask the Federal Government a few years later to carry out a similar action,” he observed.
Adinuba further queried who the Federal Government will give the funds, should they hearken to the call by the politicians.
“The question arises, to whom would the money for local governments in Anambra State be given? The politicians certainly want the funds given to Nigerians other than those from Anambra State. Even if the unconscionable politicians want the money released to LGs in Anambra State after the matter before the Supreme Court has been dispensed with, it means that our people will wait for as long as the matter drags, even if it is 10 years? What kind of callousness is this against the people of Anambra State and, indeed, the Southeast who have endured several decades of marginalization and deprivation and outright hostility,” he asked.
According to him, the call for the seizure of Anambra LG funds amounts to sheer sabotage against people of the state and the politicians leading the campaign are obviously levying war against their own people, all in the name of partisan politics.
The Inter-Party Advisory Council in Anambra State had while briefing journalists in Awka, through its Media Director, Mr. Peter Okala described non-conduct of council polls in the state as undemocratic and illegal.
It said President Muhammadu Buhari should intervene by first stopping Anambra State Local Government allocations until democratically elected governments were put in place in the 21 council areas of the state.
“The continued governance of the State by the governor without the input of democratically elected council officials is absurd. Our people had believed that the caretaker committee system currently in operation in the state would have been replaced with elected officials without unnecessary delay. IPAC is presently writing relevant agencies in Nigeria to forthwith withhold the local government funds accruable to Anambra State while mandating the State Accountant General and other agencies in the state to account for the billions of naira so far received from the Federation Account.
It continued; “Other decisive steps taken by our great council is to organize a stakeholders’ meeting comprising the clergy, the traditional rulers, market leaders, civil society organizations and the mass media to enlighten them on this matter of urgency, and have them become part of the campaign in order to stop Obiano-led administration from going on with these nefarious activities. These years of locust has accounted for redundancy in the 21 local government workforce, hence the Anambra State government has taken over the duties of workers and given it to their cronies to ensure that those funds from the internally generated revenue were coming directly to the state government.