I want to thank you all for independently making contacts in Akwa Ibom to verify that some state workers have not been paid. Within the last three days, I have been on the phone calling people in Akwa Ibom to know the truth about payment of wages and salaries. This is what I have been told: for the months of April, May, June, August, no payment. Payment was made for the month of July. Those whom I contacted said they are now worried that Christmas of this year will be another period of gnashing of teeth because they don’t think any more payment would be made before or by December.
When I first brought the non-payment of salaries to the attention of folk to this dire consequence, one ?Ubong ke Lagos made it sound as if salaries have been paid up-to-date. It was later that he came back to say that only partial payment (July) has been made.
It is interesting that in this age of technological advancement, where messages can be retrieved and obtained instantly, people still believe that they can successfully pull the wool over the eyelids of everyone by telling lies as an excuse to protect the un-proctectable. Akwa Ibom is a rich State, therefore, there is no reason, whatsoever, for Akpabio to even skip paying employees for any period, let alone non-payment for several months. And it sounds absurd and irresponsible to hear those who are living witnesses to the hardships endured by the masses as a result for non-payment of salaries, to come on this medium to try to defend Akpabio.
We who shout from thousands of miles away, and try to raise awareness to the predicament of the masses, do not do so because we want money or a fraction of the salaries paid to the workers; we are not a trade union. Rather, we shout because we care for the people. We shout because we know, deep in our hearts, that failure to pay workers, when due, is a negligence of duty because of the greed and irresponsible management of the people’s resources by Godswill Akpabio and his government. To hear someone come out in condemnation of us is a heart-break, which we find very difficult to comprehend.
What reason does Godswill Akpabio has to skip paying workers? He cannot say the state has no money. He cannot say Akwa Ibom State is poor. And he cannot say the workers don’t deserve their wages and salaries. So what are the reasons for all the excuses?
Source: Ikpafak Thompson Essien
Portland, Oregon

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