In a bid to further debunk the recent allegation by Senator Effiong Bob claiming most Councillors servicing the third tier of Government are not lettered to effectively run the affairs at that level, the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Councillors Forum, Barr. Bassey Bassey said all the 329 Councillors across the 31 LG Councils are literates.

The Chairman Councillors Forum cleared the air recently in his office during a session with members of Conference of Online Publishers, Akwa Ibom State on their ongoing Democracy Day Social Media Convo series, yesterday.

This came at the heels of the recent uproar in the public domain stirred by the statement of the two-term Senator of Akwa Ibom State North-East, Barr. Effiong Bob.

Bassey who was reacting to Sen. Effiong Bob’s recent expression that most of the Councilors in the state are illiterates, countered that the opposite was the case, as all the 329 Councillors he leads in the forum are all educated.

The Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Councilors’ Forum, Barr. Bassey Bassey, has accused a two-term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Effiong Bob, of not being in touch with realities at the grassroots.

“In strict terms, Councilors in Akwa Ibom State are very educated. All the 329 Councilors are literates. Perhaps, our Distinguished Senator might not have been in touch with the realities at the grassroots,”he said.

He added that the Councilors were made of persons with 1st, 2nd and 3rd class degrees and can be challenged to an intellectual debate anytime.

Hon. Bassey called on his fellow Councilors to keep on with their good works, relate well with their people, respect the elders and not be distracted in anyway. He also asked them to see the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) as friends, not enemies.

However, in the other hand, some members of the public on social media gave breath to the assertion by the two-term Senator and urged the Councillors’ Forum to accept the truth and see how they can encourage their members to improve. While noting that the statement was not a general statement but to few which might spoil the image of the group in the State.

Speaking on the country’s democracy after 21 years, the legal practitioner opined that all was not well.

“You can only have a good democracy when the electoral process is fine. So many powers are concentrated in the Federal Government and so we do not have the desired development,” he said.

He however noted that the way forward was to prepare the youths by reorienting them ahead of time.

Speaking on the powers of the legislative arm at the Local Government tier, the Chairman said as far as the Nigerian Constitution is concerned, the tier of Government is still dependent on the State powers.

“Don’t push problems to Councilors. The provisions of the Constitution does not make the local government independent.

“The Local Government Laws of Akwa Ibom State 2007, doesn’t give powers to the Councillors to impeach Executive Chairman.”

On 2023 Governorship, Bassey opined that he supports zoning but should be on the alter of promoting merit.

“I promote zoning, but it should not be at the detriment of merit,” – Hon. (Barr.) Bassey Etim, Chairman Akwa Ibom State Councilor’s Forum.


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