We the forum of former aides to former Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio (2007-2015), now Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senate Minority leader, after our last meeting held on Monday, June 5, 2017 do note and resolve as follows
The forum noted the series of pleas made to the government of Gov. Udom Emmanuel on the matter of statutory severance payment to the forum to no avail. The forum notes that amongst others, it had met with and sought the intervention of the Hon Speaker, Onofiok Luke on more than one occasion.
At our meeting held on May 11, 2017 and attended by the Special Adviser to Governor Udom on Political/Legislative Affairs, the SA asked we give him two weeks to talk to the governor and revert to us. A week into the promised two weeks, we did a reminder letter to the SA which unfortunately did not get any response up till today.
While we must commend the Hon Speaker for his efforts, the attitude of the SA, to our mind, mirrors the disdain to which the Udom government has treated our mature pleas so far.
The forum noted that certain categories of former aides have since received their severance payment including His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel. Indeed, all aides who resigned to contest elections including Governor Udom Emmanuel received their severance payment promptly. Then Governor Godswill Akpabio could not have paid severance to others since we were still in office. We are therefore forced to ask His Excellency Udom Emmanuel why our severance should be kept in abeyance if his has been paid.
The forum took cognizance of the fact that there may be a deliberate concerted attempt by people close to the governor to willfully mislead the governor on the desirability of meeting this statutory obligation to deserving gentlemen and ladies who served her government with courage and aplomb. It is our understanding that the Governor has been variously advised not to pay ‘Akpabio boys’.
The forum noted that this divide and rule tactics is totally at variance with the example set by Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state, who about two months ago handed over cheques totaling N1.5 billion to all aides who served the state between 2007-2015, including those who served in the government of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
With the foregoing in mind, the forum identified the need to make a passionate public outcry to the governor, asking all Akwa Ibom sons and daughters to help impress on the Governor, on the immediate imperative to satisfy this statutory obligation especially as the distractions to 2019 continue to multiply
The forum would want to use this opportunity to remind His Excellency that members of this forum worked assiduously to make him governor and do not deserve the inhuman treatment meted out to the forum
While the forum resolved to pursue its legitimate demands in a mature and decorous manner, it however resolved to pursue its statutory merit using all known legal and constitutional means should government renege on its part
Consequently, not wanting to wait till eternity, having waited for the past two years in sadness and neglect, the forum is by this communiqué appealing to government to project the matter of our severance entitlements into the June/July debt service profile of government
Finally, the forum would want to thank our mentor and leader, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, who gave us the opportunity to serve, while also congratulating our own Governor Udom Emmanuel for his fatherly understanding in our quest thus far.
It is our fervent prayer that our request meets Governor Udom Emmanuel’s kind consideration and immediate directives that our statutory severance payment is done in the June/July window.
Signed: 1) Mr. Udo Silas – Coordinator , 2) Mr. Nsikak Udofia – Secretary, 3) Evang. Comfort Williams 4) Mr. Clement Ikpatt. On behalf of the Forum of Former Aides To Gov. Godswill Akpabio