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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Rivers State communities demand probe into constituency projects implementation

Concerned Citizens seek accountability, enlist anti-corruption agencies to scrutinize utilization of allocated funds

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In a bold move aimed at fostering transparency and accountability in governance, communities within the Ikwere/Emohua Federal Constituency of Rivers State have petitioned key anti-corruption agencies, urging a thorough investigation into the implementation of constituency projects earmarked for their development in the 2024 fiscal year.

Under the banner of the Concerned Citizens of Ikwere/Emohua Federal Constituency, residents from the constituent local government areas have mobilized to challenge the status quo, where allocated funds for vital community projects often go unutilized or diverted.

Bethel-Chimzie Okwu, the group’s leader, revealed this initiative during a sensitization event held in Igwuruta, Ikwerre, underscoring the pressing need to hold lawmakers accountable for their stewardship. Okwu emphasized that the effort, spanning three months and encompassing all 27 wards of the constituency, aims to empower communities by ensuring that approved projects are executed as intended, with funds allocated accordingly.

“The chronic issue of unfulfilled projects and misappropriated funds has plagued our constituency for far too long,” Okwu declared, expressing determination to break this cycle of neglect. “We have reached out to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and Physical Responsibility Commission (PRC) to conduct a thorough investigation into the utilization of allocated funds for our constituency projects.”

Highlighting past instances of mismanagement, Okwu cited the example of untraceable funds allocated for speed boats in the 2019 budget, totaling N70 million, intended to benefit local fishermen. Yet, no tangible outcomes were evident, prompting the community’s resolve to demand greater accountability and transparency moving forward.

“We refuse to accept the status quo any longer,” Okwu affirmed. “Our engagement with the EFCC, ICPC, and PRC serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to ensure that every project designated for our constituency is executed diligently and serves its intended beneficiaries.”

As the quest for accountability gains momentum, these communities stand poised to hold their representatives to task, heralding a new era of citizen-led oversight in the pursuit of equitable development and responsible governance.

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