The last may not have been heard of the recent hunger lamentation that has rocked the office of the Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo.
Staff working with the number two citizen of the State are complaining that they are dying of starvation owing to unavailability of food and water as budgeted for in the Deputy Governor’s office.
The workers who pleaded strict anonymity for fear of victimization disclosed to TheMail Newspaper that unlike the experience from past Deputy Governors,all the Deputy Governor’s domestic staff who work at the Deputy Governor’s lodge including chefs, stewards, security and drivers now rely on buying themselves meal outside the vicinity, a case that has been very difficult owing to the demanding nature of their work.
According to one of the domestic staff ” You know how demanding our job can be, unlike what was obtainable when Lady Ebe or Nsima Ekere were Deputy Governors, no provision has been made for food for staff or visitors to this office. We are simply hunger here. For us to eat, we must move out to look for food and eat hastily so that your place of duty may not be found wanting. And the sad thing is that money is allocated for these provisions.
“We have really suffered in this office. There is no provision for food or water. This has never happened when others were serving as Deputy Governor. In fact other offices in this Government House are not suffering like us. The SSG office, Office of Her Excellency and the Governor do have what to eat or drink. They do not move about with food flask like us. But sadly, our case is to thy tent oh Israel” .
Another Senior Domestic staff however added that it is only on few occasions that the Deputy Governor gives out N50,000 to take care of food and water for the office with instructions that the amount must span through the whole week.
The staff further disclosed that since they started serving the office under the current administration, their welfare has not been considered as important.
The Staff added ” If not our basic salary, we would not survive under this recession. We do not enjoy benefits working in this office. Can you imagine that during the Christmas season, we got from this office as less as N10,000 and few of us N15,000 with nothing at all added. But even in some Ministries rice with other Christmas packages and money were distributed for its staff to enjoy the season”.
While pleading with the State Governor to make the Office of the Deputy Governor worth the name, he said that anytime complains are made on the issue, response they get is that lean money are often allocated to the office.