Facilities at the Ukanafun Local Government Secretariat at Ikot Akpankuk are in various states of decay and dilapidation. This has caused public outcry and call for action from the Local Government Authority. TNV visited the council to see the state of the secretariat facilities following a spate of social media publications on the sorry state of the secretariat housing, infrastructure and environment.

The pictures on social media which are similar to those taken by TNV photographers, showed caved roofs, fallen walls, broken floors and rotten conveniences.

The Chairman of Ukanafun Local Council, Hon. Uko Idiong is under fierce criticism by many observers who describe the decayed state of the Council Secretariat as shameful and embarrassing . Some observers berate the council Chairman for living with such decay after more than two years in office.

A native of the area, Mr Ifiok Itiaba, who spoke with this reporter, expressed displeasure over the current state of the Council Secretariat, and expresses hope that the House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs would soon visit the area, to see things for themselves and pressure for the situation to be attended to.

On his part, Mr Dante Alphonsus, said the Council headquarters may not function effectively, with its current state, while Mr Michael Usanga described the situation as sad, especially, given the fact that the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Udo Ekpenyong, is from the area.

Efforts to reach the Council Chairman proved abortive, as he was neither responding to calls nor text messages sent to his phone line.

However, his Aide, Mr Saviour Udoh, said a modern plan for an ultramodern hall at the Council Secretariat, had long been designed, adding a total refurbishment of the council headquarters was also underway.

“Uko has goodwill for Ukanafun. As we speak, contract has been awarded to paint the whole council and once it dry season, it will kick start. A modern plan has been designed to build an ultramodern hall at the Council”, he said.

Udoh who blamed the situation on poor funding of the local government, said “ask how much your Governor (referring to Governor Udom Emmanuel) is giving to Local the Government out of the N120 million allocated to Ukanafun.”

He further pointed out that the recent security crisis, in the area, although resolved, left serious negative economic impacts on the Council, revealing payment of taxes in the local government area had since been suspended, due to the crisis.

“Do you know what that crisis has caused Ukanafun? Nobody is paying tax. All those shops are operating without tax. They only pay rents to the landlords. They stopped because the state government asked that anything concerning tax in Ukanafun should be suspended so people won’t feel bad”, he said.