Enwono-Abasi Elisha

The Executive Chairman of Ikono LGA, Hon. Itoro Columba has debunked the claim that he has consulted a top politician in the State to pave way for his second term in office as an elected Chairman of the Council.

He cleared the air while interfacing with members of Conference of Online Publishers Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) during her Democracy Day Social Media Convo, earlier today.

According to Hon. Itoro Columba, “I’ve not consulted anyone that I want to go for a second term. I’m not desperate about what happens to me after now. Whatever is my fate and destiny lies in the hands of God.

“Power belongs to God. I’m a realist. As far as the Chairmanship position is concerned, you need the support of God and the leader of your party to succeed. I buy into zoning but the doctrine of streamlining is necessary to bring balance to the polity. I’m not desperate, people should allow me run my course to finish. My destiny and fate is in the hands of God.”

On the issue of suspension of Nsit Atai and Uyo Chairpersons, he said the House of Assembly took her decision within the ambit of the law but appealed to the State Legislature to tamper justice with mercy and reinstate them so they finish their tenure together on December, 2020.

“What the Lawmakers have done is within the provisions of the law. Our appeal to the House is to see how the suspended Chairmen can be reinstated so we can end our tenure together.”

As a fulcrum of development, Mr. Columba said he has embraced peace at that tier of Government so the LGA would be reinvented and better positioned for more development.

“What I’ve done in the last three years is to reinvent Ikono LGA and to give it a name in the good book of the state.

“Peace is the fulcrum of development. My agitation has always been for Ikono LGA to be in peace.”

On his impact as Chairperson of Ikono LG Council for the last three years, Mr. Itoro Columba said he has worked to ensure no Ward in Ikono LGA is without a portable water source powered by solar energy.

“For those who have followed what we’ve done in the last three years, you’ll see that we’ve not only be transparent but prudent. Presently, there is no single Ward in Ikono LGA that does not have up to two solar-powered water project and two public toilets. Our legislative complex and that of Nsit Ibom LGA stand out in the entire state.”

Accessing Nigeria’s democracy in the last 21 years, the Ikono Chairperson opined that hope is not lost on the country but need willing minds to change the negative narratives about the country especially in the area of corruption.

“Talking about Nigeria’s democracy, we’re not better but we’re not also where we were, 21 years ago. Most of the things we’ve achieved in Nigeria would not have been possible under the military rule.

“It’s sad that since 1960, Nigeria is still being referred to as a developing nation. My only reservation is that I don’t know how long it will take before we take away the adjective ‘nascent’ from our democracy. It gives the people the right to take ownership of governance and that’s the beauty of democracy. I thrive with the philosophy that things will only get better for Nigeria.

“A very large percentage of our problems lie in corruption and leadership failure. It’s inexplicable that a country as blessed as Nigeria in terms of natural and human resources is where it is at the moment. Every other thing will fall in place when we get leadership right.”

Also, the Chairman charged COOPA leadership to form its own body of rules which will help to streamlined the activities of its members.

He commended the Executive of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the State for ensuring dignity returned to the profession through strengthening its policies to remove the bad eggs which gave the profession bad name.

“Journalism profession is beginning to lookup, with the idea of registering journalists which was done recently. It is not very difficult to identify who is not a journalist now.

“It so much bothers me that anytime there’s an attempt to regulate online media practice, it generates a lot of controversy, maybe because the people don’t really trust the government, especially, at the centre.

“We challenge the leadership of COOPA to come up with home -grown regulations for its members, to ensure dignity before the eyes of the public in the new media practice.”

On zoning, he said the arrangement should not be based on ethnic sentiment but on the philosophy of fairness so there will be realisable peace in the State.

His forecast of the national outlook in 2023, Ikono Council Chairman was of the opinion of an Igbo President come 2023 at the centre.

“I’ll advocate for Igbo Presidency in 2023 but the problem is, are they mature? Considering the fact that quite a number of them are agitating for separation (Biafra).”


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