You lied about your achievements in Essien Udim, Group replies Isobara
By Our Reporter
A group, the Coalition Against Corruption and Impunity in Akwa Ibom State, Essien Udim Chapter, at the weekend, chided the chairman of Essien Udim local government area, Elder Raphael Isobara, refuting claims of his (Isobara’s) recent comment that Essien Udim is working under his watch.
The group, in a statement signed by Iyakdue Akarika, its coordinator, and made available to our reporter, said that what Isobara showed to a team of journalists who visited the local government council recently, following his invitation, were “obvious lies, manipulation and fabricated achievements” designed to mislead the people.
They alleged that Elder Isobara spent N41 million to build only the fence supporting the gate at the front entrance of the secretariat, claiming that he had built and completed the perimeter fencing of the entire secretariat; but that the entire sides and back of the secretariat are completely open to intruders.
The statement reads: “It is a notorious fact that the road from Urua Akpan, and the one that leads to the council, from Ikot Ekpene, Elder Isobara said he graded are very bad. The entire roads the Isobara leadership claimed to have graded are now full of potholes because they didn’t last long.
“Another achievement of the Isobara leadership in Essien Udim, according to his sponsored newspaper adverts, was that a coconut plantation was to be planted and commissioned with 500 seedlings on a land adjacent the council secretariat, and that the number would increase on a regular basis until the attainment of an expected large industrial capacity in the area.
“If the truth must be told, then members of the public should know that Elder Isobara planted only 100 stands of coconut in Essien Udim. In fact, it was alleged in close quarters that the one hundred seedlings of coconut Elder Isobara collected for planting has not been paid for”.
According to the group, Isobara’s excuse for his poor performance in the local government was that he spent over a hundred and fifty million naira to procure the chairmanship seat and that he would need to recoup his money and possibly take a second term in 2020.
“The so-called cooperation Isobara said he enjoys with the vice chairman, councillors, head of local government service, and supervisors of various departments was also not true. His inability to give accurate expenditure of allocations to the council in the past months had caused bad blood between them before this time.
“Even, his earlier promises of training Essien Udim youths in China to acquire skills in technology and other work areas, which was the mantra during his campaign manifesto in 2017 was a ruse.
“He collated names of three youths per ward, totaling 33 youths spread across the eleven wards of the Essien Udim local government area; and said he would be paying them monthly stipends. He has not paid a dime to one person up till this day. We are challenging him to show just one youth in Essien Udim that he has given a motorcycle as a means of empowerment.
“The leadership of Elder Raphael Isobara in Essien Udim local government area, to say the least, is a complete culture of corruption without any tangible project to show. Of all the chairmen who have administered Essien Udim local government area, Elder Isobara remains the most selfish, greedy, wicked, destructive and morally bankrupt.
“His counterpart in the neighbouring Ikot Ekpene local government area, Mr Unyime Etim, who started work at the same time with him, is being celebrated for his people-oriented leadership. But Raphael Isobara is already known for looting of local government funds and using same to acquire choice property across the country, and beyond”, the group said.
They added that the chairman’s idea of using journalists and other means “to deceive the state government, the state leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and our people will not work anymore”.
While wishing Akwa Ibom a happy 32nd anniversary celebration of the state’s creation, the group extolled Governor Udom Emmanuel’s “visionary and pragmatic” leadership in the state which they said have brought about the government’s industrialization agenda that has now lifted several Akwa Ibom sons and daughters from poverty by way of job and wealth creation through the over seven industries that has been attracted to the state.
The group further pleaded with the governor to appoint more youths of Essien Udim extraction into ministries and government agencies and parastatals as part of reward for the sacrifice they made while mobilizing votes for the governor’s re-election, inspite of the threats of the Warsaw experience of the opposition party which ultimately failed.