Aggrieved workers of the Akwa Ibom State Liaison office in Abuja, on Monday held a protest at the office demanding their unpaid allowances and monies promised them for voting the Peoples Democratic Party in the recently concluded general elections.
The protest started following allegations that the permanent secretary in charge of the liaison office, Uduak Iwoh, and the accountant, Ekan Inyang, were keeping the money meant for the staff.
One of the protesting workers told PREMIUM TIMES that the governor had promised to give N50, 000 to those who registered in Uyo for the last gubernatorial election as transportation fee.
The protesters claimed they traveled for the election and voted for the PDP but they were yet to receive their reimbursement.
“Iwoh was never in support of Udom Emmanuel as the next governor that is why he collected the money and never gave us that money. The governor gave us that money for transportation to go and vote for him,” he said.
He said in the last three years the governor, Godswill Akpabio, had always sent money to them as Christmas bonus, but that the money never got to them.
He claimed N20million was released in 2014 as their Christmas bonuses.
“Iwoh and Essien have both agreed that they collected the money and they have said they will not give us the money,” he said.
Another protester told PREMIUM TIMES that they want the governor to listen to them before he hands over in the next four days.
“What we had in mind earlier was to block the entrance of the office today, no going out and no coming in, until the governor comes here himself, but as we know our governor is a peaceful man, that’s why had the protest in the office premises,” he said.
Spokesperson of the protesting workers Kevin Umanah, said the office has been in a bad shape and needs renovation, stating that the permanent secretary collects N17.5 million monthly imprest but refused to make the repairs.
The permanent secretary, Mr. Iwoh, told PREMIUM TIMES that he was not aware of any protest, explaining that it was just a meeting.
“I will not say other than I have said. I am a civil servant. I do not grant interviews to the press. There was no protest here today,” he said.