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Akwa Ibom Pensioners Urge Governor Umo Eno to Address Economic Hardship

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Members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Akwa Ibom State Council, have voiced their distress to Governor Umo Eno regarding the economic challenges they face due to their meagre pensions.

Expressing their plight at a press conference in Uyo on Wednesday, the chairman of NUP, Obong Ekpenyong Ekpo, and secretary, Obong Cosmos Essien, highlighted the severe difficulties pensioners encounter in coping with pensions ranging from N1,500 to N5,000 amidst the current economic realities.

The pensioners lamented their struggles to survive and afford essential medications, emphasizing the urgent need for the harmonization of their pensions, similar to initiatives undertaken by other state governments in the Niger Delta region. Essien, speaking on behalf of the members, criticized the state government’s failure to fulfill its promise of paying a minimum pension of N20,000 to pre-1997 retirees and N30,000 to post-1997 retirees. Additionally, he pointed out the government’s neglect in implementing the constitutional provision mandating pension reviews every five years, aligning with increases given to workers.

The union urged Governor Umo Eno to establish a pension commission or board to address their grievances effectively and advocate for their rights. They expressed dismay at the lack of response from the government despite their persistent pleas for assistance. Highlighting the dire circumstances faced by pensioners, Essien emphasized the urgency of their situation, with many unable to afford essential medications, resulting in daily struggles and health complications.

In a bold move, the union threatened to stage a mass demonstration across Uyo’s streets and block the Government House gate to draw attention to their demands and amplify their plight. However, they acknowledged the governor’s efforts in disbursing approximately N14 billion in gratuities to various categories of pensioners within nine months of assuming office.

Despite past assurances from some governors regarding pension payments, the union lamented the dire consequences faced by pensioners, including evictions due to unpaid rents. They called for concrete action from the government to alleviate their suffering and ensure their welfare and dignity are upheld.

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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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