The Akwa Ibom State Government has said that Governor Udom Emmanuel never collected salary in his 15-month stint as Secretary to the State Government between 2013-2014. In a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ekerette Udoh, the State Government said the allegation by Forum of Former Aides to Governor Goswill Akpabio that Mr Emmanuel has collected his severance allowance is untrue.
The government said that the communiqué which appeared on TheMail and TheNation Newspapers was sponsored by a very tiny percentage, almost “infinitesimal” number of former aides of the immediate past governor, saying the real umbrella group of the aides to Akpabio is led by Udoh Ibanga Esu with over 90percent of Akpabio’s former aides as members.
As against the allegation by the group that the Special Adviser to the Governor, Barr. Ekong Sampson has not been cooperating with them to get their demands (payment of entitlements) across to the governor, the government in their response said “Governor Udom Emmanuel, and as a compassionate, thoughtful, and transparent Leader, he had set in motion the mechanics to address the issue and those affected had been fully briefed by the Honourable Special Adviser to the Governor on Legislative and Political Affairs-Barrister Ekong Sampson. The Hon. Adviser has been a picture of cooperation and understanding as opposed to showing “disdain to their “matured pleas” as they stated in their communiqué”.
The government stated that the leader of the government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has not received severance or any entitlement allowance for serving as SSG as alleged by the group, saying the governor saw his appointment as Secretary to government as a call to service.
“We think it is mischievous for these few former aides to conflate their issue with how former governors and other higher level appointees are treated when their terms end or have to resign for one reason or the other.
“We wish to state here that it is the height of deceit and affront for the writers of the communiqué to assert that “certain categories of former appointees have since received their severance payment including His Excellency Governor Udom Emanuel“. His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel, it must be noted, in his fifteen months as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), did not receive any salary or indeed any other entitlement for that matter. He saw his appointment as a call to service and consequently donated his salary to the less privileged.”
The government however asked the former aides to Akpabio to apologize to Udom for lying against his person and name, saying the allusion that the Governor has been advised not to pay “Akpabio boys” is imaginary chasm and gulf as the there is nothing as “Akpabio Boys and “Udom Boys” in the dictionary of the governor/government.
“It is worthy to note here that many of the former aides who served under the immediate past Govemor have been reappointed into various positions of responsibility by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel. There is therefore, no “Akpabio Boys” and “Udom Boys” and the writers of the communiqué should be ashamed of themselves for being clever by half to have invoked such a non-existent bogey-man”, the statement stated further.