By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
RETIRED Living and next of kin of late primary School teachers in Akwa Ibom State have expressed concern that the state government has been paying lip service to the payment of their gratuities and entitlement over the years.
The aggrieved retirees spoke ,Monday, when they embarked on another peaceful protest to the government House, along Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo to continue to press for their demands.
Addressing, newsmen after the protest, the Secretary Coalition of families; widow/Next of Kin and late primary School teachers Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Benjamin Benson, said they knew the announcement by government last Friday that it was going to commence the payment was not true.
His words, “We embarked on this peaceful protest today because the state government has failed to keep to their agreement on the payment of gratuities and pension to both the living and next of kin of retired Primary School teachers .
“What happened was last Thursday we met with the Police to inform them about our plan to embark on protest. And the following day, being Friday we got the information that government will commence payment today (Monday), immediately we knew where that decision was coming from.
“So that announcement last Friday was not premeditated, government is not sincere.
Everyday they keep saying they are going to commence payment and at after nothing happens. They should stop paying us on the radio.
“We had earlier agreed that if they don’t pay between last Friday and today, we will embark on a peaceful protest”
Benson explained that when, Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen addressed them, he assured that the payment would be made this week Wednesday.
“What this means is that the information that Government gave that they will commence payment today was not true. We only dispersed because, Chief of Staff has scheduled a meeting with us tomorrow (Tuesday) by 9 a.m.
“Today we planned to sleep here in in front of the government House until they pay. But we want to give Government benefits of the doubt”, He stressed.
The State government had last Friday announced that it has concluded plans to commence the payment this Monday.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Ememobong, however did not respond to calls made to his phone to get his reaction on the controversial issue.