By EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
The member representing Odukpani State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Francis Asuquo, has been accused of attempts to sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government’s in completing the Oil and Gas industrial park sited in Odukpani LGA of Cross River State.
The NOGAPs is an initiative of the Nigeria content development and monitoring board, NCDMB to encourage local manufacturing of consumables and other produce needed in the oil and gas sector.
The project sited at the Onim Ankiong Community in Odukpani LGA of the state kicked off with the commencement of the construction phase in 2018. While the NCDMB set up a community interface committee to oversee the day today running of the sit, ensure compliance as well as resolve issues that may arise between communities and contractors during project, some leaders of the community say the action of the Lawmaker may lead to breakdown of peace in the community.
Senior Special Assistant to governor Ben Ayade, Mukafor Ekpos Okon while speaking with this paper accused the Lawmaker of sponsoring thugs and cultist to attack him and other traditional leaders who were on on a fact finding mission to the project site.
He accused the Lawmaker of demanding and collecting several millions of Naira from all the contractors at the site instead working with the community interface committee setup by the board.
“There are four clans that makes up Okoyong community where this project is sited, but it is only one community that is benefiting from everything interns of contracts, jobs etc. He has refused to work with the CIC, but decided to use the councilor from that ward to perpetuate his evil and greedy motive. I don’t think this was the plan and idea behind setting up this project, it is a project that was setup for the benefit of everyone but see how one man is diverting everything for himself”
Sources say apart from the fact that the Lawmaker has been threatening contractors to submit to his greedy desires where he swindling them if millions of naira, he also opened a secret account with a new generation bank where job seekers are directed to pay the sun of N25,000 in other to secure a job at the site.
Also speaking, Evang. Effiom Ita who is the chairman of Okoyong youth forum said
“As we speak, the CIC which was inaugurated by the board had been made redundant by the Lawmaker, he uses the chairman of the CIC and the councillor who are his own subordinates to direct all the contractors to relate with him alone from where he dishes out tokens to the them”
Evang. Ita said youths in the community have resolved to resist the Lawmaker’s attempt to put in his private pocket what belongs to the entire community using every legal means.
At the time of filling this report, the Lawmaker, Hon. Francis Asuquo did not respond to calls made to his phone, he did not also respond to and SMS sent to him.