Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, has said that the state government will enact a law to compel chairpersons of local government councils to live in their respective council areas.
The governor stated this on Wednesday while swearing into office two new chairpersons for Nsit Ibom and Urue-Offong Oruko local government areas.
The two offices became vacant after their former occupants contested and were elected on 18 March as House of Assembly members in the state.
The deputy chairpersons in the two council areas who were before functioning in an acting capacity were sworn in as substantive chairpersons alongside two new deputies.
Addressing guests at the event held in Government House, Uyo Governor Eno said the new council officials were familiar with the office, having served in the acting capacity before.
Mr Eno said his administration was determined to transform and deepen growth and development in the rural areas as a strategic way of curbing rural-urban migration.
To realise this, he said, he would send a bill to the state Assembly to compel council chairpersons to live in their domains and not the state capital, Uyo.
“As heads of your respective councils, you are expected to lead in our determined effort to bring development to our rural areas. I expect that as local government chairpersons, you should begin to live in your local government areas because we are going towards a point where local government chairpersons and those who wish to be in that office will not live in Uyo.
Chairpersons would now have to live in their local government areas; that is where we are driving to, and I will soon present a bill to the House of Assembly to enact and enforce this, to ensure that people who must lead our local government must live in their respective local government.
“So if you wish to contest for local government chairperson and you know you will not live there, please don’t do so because I have moved from Eket where I used to live to Uyo because of my work, but I enjoy living in Eket. So if I can move, if you want to be a chairperson in your local government, stay in your local government.