UNPAID ENTITLEMENTS: Over 100 Of Us Suffering From High BP- Immediate Past Councilors
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UNPAID ENTITLEMENTS: Over 100 Of Us Suffering From High Bp – Immediate Past Councilors
…say their sacrifices are enough
…Congregate over line of action
By Ekemini Simon
Councilors of the 6th Legislative Council of Akwa Ibom State have said that the sacrifices they made during their reign as Councilors in the State are enough sacrifices made hence the State Government should not push further for more sacrifices from them.
The Immediate Past Councilors made this known on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 when they held their meeting in Uyo.
The meeting of the Immediate Past Councilors which had in attendance representatives from each Local Government Area said to be in line with COVID-19 protocols witnessed the Councilors of the 6th Legislative Council discuss their line of action towards receiving their unpaid Severance.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the Chairman of Forum of Councilors of the 6th Legislative Council, Barr Bassey Etim said they have resolved to explore civil methods in expression of their grievances over their unpaid severance which he insisted is their legitimate earning.
Reading the resolution, the Chairman said ” We have resolved that we will engage the Government constructively and that Government should pay our Severance allowance.”
Barr Etim noted that the 329 Councilors of the 6th Legislative Council have sacrificed enough for the State by forgoing substantial part of their salaries (over eight months) to the Government in the fight for Covid-19 hence they see no reason their severance benefit should be delayed.
He added “Whereas we have foregone a substantial part of our salaries for eight months, whereas we have stayed right from the beginning of government for about six months without salaries, although it was later paid in installment, which economically affected us”.
“Whereas most Councilors have left office without furniture allowance and imprest, and all of us left unlike past legislative Councils without Constituency funds”.
“Having sacrificed sufficiently for the smooth running of the first and second term of the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel, supported his re-election, allowed the system to run smoothly and peacefully despite marginalisation, although same was brought to the notice of the Governor and House of Assembly, we willingly do not want to ask for the refund of what we have sacrificed to the State in support of COVID-19.”
” We hereby request that the sacrifices are enough and Government should replicate same by prompt payment of our severance allowance.”
On his part, the Leader of Ibiono Ibom Legislative Council in the 6th Legislative Council, Hon Enobong Ekong said that over 100 Councilors are suffering from high blood pressure occasioned by debt incurred during their stay in council.
He explained that since no fund was released for the runnings of their offices coupled with other unpaid statutory entitlements and allowances, many Councillors were pushed into exhausting their salaries in catering for their needs and the needs of their Constituents.
Ekong said ” We are not mincing words. Over a hundred of us are now suffering from high blood pressure because those they owe are disturbing them. As a Councilor, people in your ward come to you when they have problems. And you can’t give excuses. You must help. Of course the people will not take excuses.”
” N185,000 takes you nowhere. Some of us got loan to work in the grassroots in expectation that our allowances and severance would be paid which would be used to offset debt. Now, it isn’t coming and we cant continue to suffer in silence”.
(C) TheMail Newspaper