HOW AKPABIO SPENT AKWA IBOM MONEY TO DEVELOP THE NORTH: Amidst the hues and repeated cries by retired primary school teachers and other retired workers in Akwa Ibom, fresh reasons have emerged for the non-payment of their entitlements including, gratuity and 7.5 percent deduction for contributory pension and 10 months pension arrears.
Global Pilot has uncovered that the administration of ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom may have had enough funds to settle their entitlements, but allegedly refused to pay their entitlements, leaving behind huge debt burden for Governor Udom Emmanuel who came in from 2015 to start settling the backlogs of the benefits.
Just recently, retired primary school teachers who retired between 2011 and 2015 and May 2015 (most of whom have passed away) and their next of kin held a solemn Assembly where they tabled their plights before God. However, while the current administration in the state is battling to clear arrears of retired workers which the former Governor refused to pay, it has now become public knowledge that Akpabio rather used Akwa Ibom money in developing the North.
Making a shocking confession last weekend during a live interview on Arise TV, Senator Akpabio told the world how he used Akwa Ibom money in developing Northern states amid several abandoned projects he left behind littering the state and his failure to attend to the plight of retired public workers’ before leaving office in May, 2015.
Some abandoned projects have become monuments in the state including, the much famed ‘Tropicana Entertainment Complex started during his first term, Etebi-Enwang road, among others.
Responding to a question from the Arise TV host on allegations leveled against him by former MD of NDDC, Dr. Joi Nunei, Akpabio disclosed; “Most people even see me as a Northerner.
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“I was the most Northern friendly Governor from the South. Go and see what I have built in the North.
“As Governor of Akwa Ibom State you need to go and see there how I built a 280 bedroom hostel at Federal Polytechnic, Kazaure. You come to Abuja here in ISS, Institute of Strategic Studies, you’ll see a fantastic Luxury apartment that I built for students who go there. If you go to a place like Madala, when that church was bombed i’m sorry to say this; it’s something i shouldn’t say. I sent my Engineers from Akwa Ibom State to go and rebuild the church totally. And i deposited the sum of N50 Million to ensure the treatment of all the patients that needed blood and all that and i made sure over 5000 Moslems went to the Holy land(Mecca) in 8 years”.
“I have developed a lot of young people whom i have come across in Nigeria from the South-West to the North to the South-East. I am not that person you can give a toga of being a tribalist”.
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Meanwhile, Akpabio’s disclosure on how he spent state funds in developing the North when no Northern Governor has ever reciprocated such gesture to the state has continued to generate mixed reaction from a cross section of Akwa Ibom people.
Nsikak Orok while reacting, enquired to know how many hostels the former Governor built at the state owned polyechnic at Ikot Osurua and the Akwa Ibom State University.
Nsikak in a comment on the social media said “I’m not happy with these projects you did in the North. I don’t know how many hostels are in AkwaPoly and AKSU”.
Another Akwaibomite, Steve Bassey Jr is not happy that Akwa Ibom money was allegedly spent on what he described as ”Jamboree”. According to Steve who reacted on social media “He (Akpabio) was using Akwa Ibom State money to do jamboree and at the end of his tenure he left a huge debt for his successor.
“This man called, Akpabio will definitely account for his 8 year stewardship as Governor, just like Magu his day will definitely come”.
Inyang Williams in his reaction expressed anger that the former Governor was being magnanimous outside the state, while his community hasn’t enjoyed electricity since the creation of the state.
Although Inyang didn’t disclose the name of his community, he said “You did all these things outside your state, and in my community there is no NEPA light since creation of the state”.
It could be recalled that on assumption of office in 2015, Governor Udom Emmanuel had to pay over 10years backlog of retirement benefits to retired workers in the state, and since then has had to be offsetting the arrears in phases.