The crisis rocking Mkpat Enin local government area in Akwa Ibom state has escalated as the Chairman of the Transition Committee Lady Mercy Bassey refused to attend meetings to resolve the revenue crisis in the last two weeks.
Our Correspondent gathered that after the clash between two revenue groups, there was a need to convene a meeting which the chairman refused for unknown reasons.
Speaking to our reporter on Thursday, an indigene of Ukam Mr Akanimo Udo where the popular Ukam market is located said last Monday, the hope of rural market women and traders in the market was dashed as police chased them away.
Udo blamed the Transition Committee Chairman for the prolonged revenue crisis in the local government area as she ignored all meetings to bring peace to the area.
“You can see that our chairman even released nearly up to five press releases within 24 hours early last week.
“Most of those press statements were lies. She even spoke through her Exco member that I was planning unrest, just to paint me black. ”
He explained that the revenue crisis in the area was complicated when the local government Transition Chairman Mercy Bassey denied the fact that some of the people she suspected in the crisis had never worked as Revenue Collectors for the council just to indict them.
“Again, how can she say that she does not know me and that I am not a revenue officer, whereas I am the one that pays money to her, I am the one she calls every week for returns, the receipts bear my names and signatures, even as at December 2023, she called me to pay in monies and I did same to the Local Government Council, and I issued receipts.
“I have those receipts with me, but she lied to the world that she does not know me, it’s quite unfortunate. I will forward to you receipts with my names on them that I’ve been paying to them”.
“Trouble started when I asked the council chairman to make plans to renovate the market because market women were complaining too much about paying taxes without any interventions, and they feared that the rains were around the corner.”
Udo disclosed that the Transition Chairman was angry when he told her that the Revenue Committee had remitted over N25m to the council.
“Immediately I mentioned that I’ve paid over a 25million naira to the council in the last few years without any of the chairmen investing a dime in the market, and pleaded with her to come to the rescue of those old women, she became furious, ordered me out of her office and immediately moved to remove me.
“The market does not belong to me but the community. Even the Samruf company who are the Revenue Contractors that she mentioned as the company in charge of the revenue contract, the company I represent didn’t send even a letter to the company to inform of termination, everything was done with force and intimidation.
” I am not fighting her, I can’t fight government authority, she should stop lying against me, framing me up and labelling lies against me at the police,” he said.