A group of retired primary school teachers has called on the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to pay them their gratuity and other entitlements since their retirement.
The teachers numbering up to 21 said after their meritorious service for the State between 2013-2015, they are yet to be paid their gratuity and other entitlements.
Speaking through their counsel, Mr Kazeem Olusola Salawu of Salawu, Akingbolu & Co., in a letter titled “Passionate Appeal To Executive Governor Of Akwa Ibom State For Payment Of Gratuity And Other Entitlements Of Retired Primary School Teachers Of Akwa Ibom Sttae Between 2013-2015’ the aggrieved teachers said it is disheartening that since their various retirement, all effort to ensure that their entitlements and gratuity are paid have proved abortive.
The teachers also said that all entreaties to the officers in charge to ensure that they are paid have not yielded any positive result.
They stated that earlier in the year 2020, a law suit was instituted against the state at the National Industrial Court Judicial Division in Suit No: NICN/UY/09/2020 UDO HENRY ESHIET & 6 ORS V AKWA IBOM STATE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION BOARD & 1 OR, Suit No: NICN/Y/08/ OR and Suit No: NICN/UY/10/2020 AKPADIAHA BASSEY AKPADIAHA & 8 ORS V AKWA IBOM STATE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION BOARD & 1 OR, respectively.
The letter further reads: “Upon the service of the Court processes on the government of Akwa Ibom State, and at the instance of the court, parties agreed to amicable settlement of the dispute and promises were made that their gratuity and other entitlements would be paid before the end of year 2021.
However, since the settlement was agreed in 2021 the teachers who have served the state with all their strength are yet to be paid their gratuity and other entitlements despite promises made to the Court without any justifiable reason.”
In their plea to the Governor, the teachers urged him to pay up their gratuity and other entitlements.
They said: “Sir, we have followed your track record since your election as the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, your dedication to the welfare of workers is unrivaled. We therefore passionately plead to your Excellency that our gratuity and other entitlements be paid within the shortest period.”
According to their lawyer, Mr. Salawu, the pensioners are dying by the day. It is not palatable that these people who have served their father land meritoriously are being owed.