Frank Archibong: Repositioning Local Government Council


By Sammy Etuk Jnr.

Local Government Administration remains the closest government to the people, often the people are worried about the inability to get across to their leaders hence, they look forward to the Local Council Authorities for succour.

In the past, there has been a disconnect between the people and the local government council, this led to mistrust, misunderstanding, and total lack of confident in the local administration.

The people considered the local government authority as a misnomer or administer by a group of rogue, who may not be responsible to the people.

Therefore, the Local Government Council was seen as a place set up to compensate political cronies by critics.

This belief made the people to discountenance whatever the Local Government represents and the masses expected to benefit from this Government seemingly assessable to them turn their back on such administration and gave up the hope of waiting for redemption. Some people recalled that Local Government Council Authorities were the last hope of the people during the Colonial days and consider current Local Government Council Authorities as an aberration instead of the third tire of Government.

The advent of the new Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affair, Mr. Frank Archibong has change the history, bringing a phase that has made the Local Government Council a bride to all, he is also a product of the Local Government system having served as a two-term Local Government Chairman.

His philosophy of making Local Government the Government of the masses and ensuring that the grassroots participate in governance has been his greatest leverage and dear to his heart.

He once told a group of councilors who paid him a visit, “the Local Government Council is the only government that our people can truly connect with at any time.

If a market woman wants to complain about a problem in their locality, she cannot run to the Government House at any State Capital to meet the Governor or take a flight to Abuja to meet with the President.

The woman can only come here to meet us because the transport will not be much and those who live nearby can trek to the Council’s Secretariat to give us the information.

This is why we should always make ourselves available to the people because this is their government.” With such philosophy, Mr. Archibong on his appointment as a Commissioner by Governor Udom Emmanuel went on to ensure that the Local Government Council Chairmen and Councilors in the State do not abandon their Council Secretariats.

He encouraged them to make sure the masses feel the presence of government at that level. Emmanuel Uwemedimoh, a Geologist based in Kanu confess that he was overwhelmed when he visited two Local Government Councils in Akwa Ibom State recently.

Said he, “Some years back when i came to Akwa Ibom, I could not see the Local Government Chairman on sit nor the Councilors. It was really frustrating, i had to go back without accomplishing what I came for in Akwa Ibom, this time around, a Chairman who attended to me told me that if he was not in the office on Monday morning, the Commissioner will be very upset.

He said that he lives in his village about 5 kilometers from the Local Government Secretariat and assured that his colleagues from other Local Government Areas in the State do same.” Emmanuel did not want to disclose the name of the Local Government Councils he visited to avoid any controversy, especially when he mentioned his previous experience.

But this testimony is a reflection of the changes which were not part of previous administrations.

The Local Government Councils are expected to serve people and bring governance closer to our communities, this is what the Commissioner is advocating and practically ensuring its implementation.

Also, he has stabilized the traditional institution by giving them adequate support and making sure disputes are not allowed to see the light of the day.

The Oku Ibom and Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Traditional Council, His Eminence, Ntenyin Solomon Etuk enjoys the cooperation and support of Mr. Archibong at all times.

Ntenyin Etuk once referred to the Commissioner as an astute administrator who has made things easy for the Traditional Rulers. He was particularly happy with the approvals of decisions taken by the Traditional Councils. “Now, recognition of newly selected Traditional Rulers gets immediate approval as soon as the authorize authorities send in the information, we are happy with the present administration and its leadership,” Ntenyin Etuk said. Mr. Archibong does not think that those who benefit from his benevolence should give him kudos because he is a man who believes in giving than receiving.

Hence, this should not be counted for him as an achievement, his admirers said he wants to finish strong and leave an active Local Government system in the State for posterity.

Related Articles


No Comment.

Back to top button