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Akwa Ibom Disputes Out-Of-School Children Report

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Akwa Ibom State Government has described recent reports in a section of the media, on the prevalence of Out-of-School children in the state, as misleading, mischievous and politically motivated.

The government in a statement issued, Thursday, in Uyo by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet urged the public to disregard the publication, describing it as false and misleading.

A report circulating in some media had claimed that Akwa Ibom has a prevalence of out-of school children with another report allegedly ranking the performance of States in the West African Schools Certificate Examination.

But the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Etiebet has debunked both reports, describing the ranking as false and fictitious, as it did not emanate from the Examination body, WAEC.

Etiebet explained that the said reports which she described as highly fallacious, do not reflect the remarkable progress the state has recorded in the education sector in the last 7 years under the watch of Governor Udom Emmanuel and the impressive performances of students in exit examinations in the State.

The Commissioner disclosed that Akwa Ibom has 3,129,620 school children in public and government approved private schools.

“These school children are effectively accommodated in 2,826 public and private schools in the State.

“This impressive number of school children is clearly a product of the education master plan of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration which has led to improved facilities and employment of more teachers in schools, as well as prompt payments of salaries and other emoluments to teachers across the state”

Mrs. Etiebet hinted that the State was currently operating free, compulsory and qualitative basic education programme which makes it mandatory for every child of school age to be in school during school hours.

” This policy which is backed by the state’s Child’s Rights Law makes it a punishable offense for parents and guardians whose children are caught loitering during school hours. Education monitors spread across the three senatorial districts are daily enforcing compliance through daily patrol exercises.

“The State Government also pays WAEC and NABTEB fees for all students in Public Secondary Schools in the State, running into N1bn (One Billion Naira) each year and also pays subventions of 100 to 200 naira per child, per term respectively to all public primary and secondary schools respectively, to discourage all forms of hidden charges by schools’ heads”.

“In the light of these, it can be clearly seen and stated that Akwa Ibom ranks top as far as education is concerned and could not have been the same state that such atrocious figures of out of school children could have been linked”

“Similarly, we wish to categorically debunk the false West African School Certificate Examination performance rankings circulating on the social media. This false ranking of states in Nigeria, clearly did not emanate from the West African Examination Council and should definitely not be taken seriously.

“It should be noted that WAEC is yet to fully release all the results of its 2022 examination and as such, the states’ performance ratings spewed on the social media, is clearly fictitious. Moreover, the West African Examination Council has confirmed that it does not, and has never published States’ performance ratings”.

“She maintained that students in exiting classes in the State have improved in their performances in the last few years, adding that “recent results from the O’level examinations in the country show that Akwa Ibom students bagged the best results, with one of them Master Valour Mbre Inyang scoring A’s in all subjects in national and international examinations he wrote”

“We urge the general public to kindly disregard these mischievous and apparently politically motivated reports”, the commissioner added.

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APC Chieftain Commends Governor Umo Eno for Prompt Gratuity Payment

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Idorenyin Etuk, a prominent figure within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has expressed commendation for Governor Umo Eno’s consistent efforts in ensuring the regular payment of gratuities to retired civil servants.

Governor Eno recently authorized the disbursement of an additional N1.4 billion for the payment of gratuities to retired civil servants in the state. The breakdown of the payment indicates that N900 million is allocated for retired state civil servants, while N500 million is designated for retired primary school teachers.

A statement released by Ekerette Udoh, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, revealed that this additional allocation brings the total amount of gratuities disbursed by Governor Eno to N16.1 billion within ten months of his administration.

The issue of pension and gratuity payment has been a contentious subject, leading to protests from retired civil servants and their next of kin. In response to the governor’s actions, Etuk, a member of the APC Elders Council in the area, expressed his appreciation, highlighting the significance of the prompt payment of entitlements to retirees.

Etuk emphasized the importance of addressing the financial needs of retirees, stating that it is unjust to subject them to protests for the payment of their rightful benefits. He applauded Governor Eno’s people-centric approach to governance, noting that it demonstrates genuine concern for the welfare of senior citizens who have served the state diligently.

While acknowledging his initial opposition to Governor Eno’s gubernatorial ambition, Etuk admitted to witnessing the governor’s humanity and commitment to the well-being of the people. He emphasized the critical role of gratuity payments in alleviating the financial challenges faced by retirees, particularly in the current economic climate.

Etuk concluded by underscoring the significance of fulfilling obligations to retirees, recognizing their contributions to the state and the hardships they may encounter without timely payment of their entitlements.

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ASP John Timfon Assumes Duty as Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer

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In a significant transition within the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, ASP John Timfon has officially assumed the role of Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), becoming the 24th PPRO of the command.

This change comes as part of a recent appointment approved by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeoye Egbetokun, Ph.D, NPM.

ASP John Timfon succeeds CSP Odiko Macdon, who has been promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP). The handover was formalized on Tuesday, marking the beginning of ASP Timfon’s tenure as the face and voice of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command.

Prior to her appointment as the Akwa Ibom State PPRO, ASP John Timfon served as the Head of Programmes for Nigeria Police Radio, 99.1FM, Abuja. Hailing from Akwa Ibom State, she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role, holding an LL.B (Hons) Degree in Law from the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State, and being a member of the Regular Course 2.

In a statement issued by DSP Lawrence Anine of the PRO department, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command expressed gratitude to the outgoing PPRO, CSP Odiko Macdon, for his professionalism and dedication during his tenure. The command also urged the people of Akwa Ibom State to extend their cooperation and support to ASP John Timfon as she embarks on her new responsibilities.

With this transition, ASP John Timfon is poised to uphold the standards of transparency, communication, and community engagement, ensuring the effective dissemination of information and fostering positive relations between the police force and the residents of Akwa Ibom State.

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Testimony Unfolds in Trial Surrounding Lawyer’s Mysterious Death in Akwa Ibom

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In a gripping courtroom drama at the Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo, more revelations emerged surrounding the death of Barrister Godwin Ikoiwak, a practicing lawyer with the State Ministry of Justice. Six individuals are currently standing trial in connection with the case, presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang.

The court heard the compelling testimony of Mrs. Abasiesebanga Ikoiwak, the wife of the deceased and a registrar at the Court of Appeal, Calabar. Mrs. Ikoiwak, aged 37, provided a detailed account of the events leading up to her husband’s demise and the subsequent actions taken to conceal the circumstances of his death.

According to Mrs. Ikoiwak’s testimony, she directed her sister, Udeme Patrick Umoh, a Nigeria Police officer who is currently at large, to transport her husband’s body from her mother-in-law’s house to Saint Luke’s Hospital in Uyo. The purpose was to obtain a death certificate, falsely indicating that her husband passed away at the hospital rather than at his mother-in-law’s residence.

The defendants standing trial alongside Mrs. Ikoiwak include her mother, Margaret Patrick Umoh (67 years old), her sister, Owoidoho Patrick Umoh (36 years old), two medical doctors, Dr. Imoh Sunday Johnson and Dr. Isaac Njoku, as well as Reverend Father Gabriel Ekong, the Administrator of Saint Luke’s Hospital.

Mrs. Ikoiwak admitted to her involvement in the scheme, citing her confessional statement to the Department of State Services (DSS). She recounted the events leading to her husband’s death, mentioning his weakness upon returning from the Federal High Court, Uyo, and her decision to send him to her mother’s house for care.

However, discrepancies emerged during Mrs. Ikoiwak’s testimony, particularly regarding her communication with her family members and her husband’s health status. She claimed to have kept her husband’s family uninformed about his deteriorating condition and alleged that her in-laws refused to acknowledge her as the deceased’s wife and denied the existence of their two children.

The trial continues as the court seeks to uncover the truth behind Barrister Ikoiwak’s mysterious death and the events surrounding it.

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