By Chioma Onuegbu & Emmanuel Ayungbe
Uyo—AKWA Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has announced the dissolution of Ukanafun and Itu local government administrations with immediate effect, following the lingering crisis in the leadership of the two councils.
A statement, yesterday, by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Sir Etekamba Umoren, said that the governor directed Heads of Service of the two affected LGAs to take over the affairs of the councils, pending further directives.
Although the statement did not state any reason for the governor’s decision, Vanguard learned from a source close to the state government that the dissolution was in connection with the leadership crisis bedeviling the two councils in the past few months.
Both Ukanafun and Itu Transition Committee Chairmen, Abasiono Udomfu and Mrs. Elsie Esara, have been enmeshed in leadership crisis over alleged killings and misappropriation of council funds respectively in the past few months.
It will be recalled that the Police in the state last week confirmed the arrest of Abasiono Udomfu alongside three other suspects, including his personal assistant, Akaninyene Ibuot, over the alleged murder of the council secretary, Mr. Ime Atakpa.
However, a reliable source from Ukanafun told Vanguard that the crisis in the area seemed to have deepened following the governor’s directive, as aggrieved cultists have allegedly threatened to deal with politicians from the area if they fail to settle them.
Our source who did not want his name mentioned, said: “The crisis in Ukanafun is getting out of hand since the state government announced the dissolution of the council administration. As I speak with you, cult boys have threatened to burn down houses of prominent politicians in Ukanafun if each of them fails to pay them N1 million since the chairman who used to settle them has been arrested and the council’s administration dissolved.
“When you contact some of them, they will tell you the truth. In fact, a prominent APC chieftain who happened to be among those the cult boys wrote to, has already moved his mother and other close relatives from the village.”
The dissolution of Itu transition council followed the recommendation of the state legislature, which had waded into the battle between the Chairman, Mrs. Esara and some council members over alleged embezzlement of N50million Internally Generated Revenue.