The insecurity bedevilling Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State has continued to prevent the council chairman, Alfred Atera, from being resident amongst his people.
Our correspondent reports that Atera temporarily relocated to Makurdi after the 2020 Christmas eve attack on his resident in Kastina-Ala town, headquarters of the Kastina-Ala LGA where some people were shot dead while he escaped being killed.
The council chairman has ever since then presided over the affairs of his locality from Makurdi, about four hours’ drive to the troubled town while availing his physical presence at the office sometimes.
Some staff members of the council, who declined to have their names mentioned, told our correspondent that the irregularity of the chairman in office was affecting administration and other developments.
They alleged that developmental projects, expected to have direct bearings on the lives of the people, could not be done just as some files needing immediate attention could not be responded to until such a day that the chairman appears.
There were others who claimed that the chairman and some of his officials fled their residences as well as offices in Kastina-Ala and have been conducting official matters through correspondences.
“Though there is a great improvement in the security situation of the area now, it isn’t yet time to fully return to work. The residents can’t yet sleep with two eyes closed.
“It’s only the chairman that has been away but the deputy chairman and the local government secretary are on ground to attend to pressing issues,” a staff member said.
When contacted, the council chairman, Atera, told our correspondent that despite the threats to his life still persists, he often goes to work.
“The threats to my life are still there. But I do go to work on normal arrangement. I do my work at the office and come back to Makurdi. This is because of the threat to my life,” he added.
Atera said there was a slight improvement in security in the area, adding that the ‘boys’ have resorted to kidnapping and robbery while they stopped shooting at markets and other public places.