Bakassi IDPs seek probe of N38b ‘special fund’ to Cross River
• Govt, labour trade words over pay order
The internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Comprehensive Secondary School, Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem in Akpabuyo Local Council has called on the Federal Government to investigate the N38 billion that accrued to Cross River State following its loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom in 2012.
The inmates, who made the appeal during a march yesterday, also demanded a probe of their alleged diverted relief materials by state officials.With placards reading “We did not disown our leader, Senator Princess Florence Ita-Giwa; Bakassi jobbers, learn to celebrate your leaders; Director General of SEMA, we want our relief materials; Atai Ema sons and daughters are without home; Bakassi boys love mama Bakassi” among others, they asked the Federal Government and the United Nations to channel future assistance to them through a new avenue.
In a chat with newsmen, the Camp Leader in Chief, Etim Okon Ene, said: “Just one billion is enough to take care of half of the problems of our people. But talking about N38 billion, I think it is a political pronouncement. We have not felt the impact of such money at all. That amount would have solved our plight. So far, nothing has been done. I am not convinced. It is totally false otherwise the Federal Government should rise up now and investigate. The EFCC and DSS should find out where this money has gone to.”
Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, had during a courtesy call on Governor Ben Ayade in March, revealed that N38 billion has so far been paid as palliatives to the state ever since.
Responding, the governor was reported to have requested an assistance of N2 billion monthly for projects and others, citing inadequacy of the allocations to the state.
Meanwhile, the government and labour have traded words over the decision by the former to implement a ‘no work, no pay’ rule for this month.
A statement yesterday in Calabar by the Special Assistant on Media/Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Christian Ita, said: “Professor Ben Ayade has directed the Commissioner for Finance, Head of Service and Accountant General to immediately commence the process for the payment of June salary to state workers who have been at work while the strike lasts.
“The governor expects the salaries to be paid before the end of the week.” But the state Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Clarkson Otu, asked workers to ignore the threat. He noted: “It was not true that the government has met with the terms of agreement. Because if they have implemented, we would not have gone on strike in the first place. The strike is on and workers should stay at home.”
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