A non-governmental organisation that operates under the aegis of Abia Citizens Forum, ACF, has called for a public enquiry into the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in Abia State.
The group in a statement issued in Lagos and signed by the Convener, Jerome Kalu which was made available to News Critic said that following the inauguration of Dr Ikpeazu for a second term in office, it has become imperative that a public enquiry should be set up to ask questions about the government and know what is happening in the state.
He said that this has become necessary in view of the negative reports emanating from the state which indicates that Abia is sliding into a failed state, with workers and pensioners owed salaries arrears up to 20 months. The statement further said that despite the federal allocation that accrues to the state and other sources of funds Abia has nothing to show for it.
Kalu, alleged that in the past four years the administration of Governor Ikpeazu received over N500 billion from both the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR; Paris Club refund, Bail Out fund; Monthly federation allocation; local government allocations; 13 per cent derivation; Ecological funds; Foreign grants and bank borrowing.
According to the group with all these monies that accrued to the state during his first tenure, he said it is disheartening to hear about non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions. The statement added that available information indicates that secondary school teachers in the state are the worst of all because the government appears to have abandoned them, while the public schools are left to suffer and decay which is not supposed to be so.
The group lamented that there is no tenure accountability as the first term is over without the governor rendering his scorecard, except the television documentaries it described as misleading. ‘’There should be an enquiry to ask questions concerning the running of the state. We understand the government received this amount how was it spent? If it is discovered that the government is failing, then we move to the next level’’.
He said the Abia people has the option of taking the government to court or invite the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC. The group however regretted that today youths are laid back and can’t take initiatives to protect their future and that of their state.
‘’So accountability is key and the people should monitor the performance of the government and what they do with our money’’. The group explained that the public enquiry is to ask questions in order to know and not about protests against the government.
They said all Abians should be concerned with the state of affairs in the state, wondering why a state like Ebonyi has become a reference point in all indices of development, while Abia is regarded as a failed state. ‘’Look at Ebonyi state and how people talk about it, or is it Enugu, Anambra just mention the state that’s not doing better than us. Is it not a shame that we could not even fix Aba road Umuahia after how many years and motorists are left to suffer on the road which is not up to seven kilometres’’.
‘’It’s time to hold the Ikpeazu government accountable because Abia can’t continue this way’, the group says.