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COVID-19: FCT public health workers  threaten strike over  owed 7 months allowance

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This is not a good time for the country’s health system with the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic ravaging countries all over the world.

The Public Health workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are not motivated to deliver their best.

The FCT Administration owes the Health workers seven (7) months hazard allowance, a situation that has demoralized the workers, it was learnt.

The workers who are at the forefront of combating Covid-19 have only been paid the N50, 000 hazard allowances for three months -March to May 2020.

According to the few of the Health workers who volunteered to speak, though, under the condition of anonymity, the administration has been using subtle blackmail to keep them working and quiet.

They said what we hear every time the issue comes up is that the allowance remains a privilege and not a right.

Besides, the authorities are fast in reminding them of their monthly salaries that is still running.

The workers also complained about the inferior Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplied to them.

The PPE, they chorused “are fake, substandard and unsafe for the kind of work they expect us to carry out. Yet, no one will listen.”
They explained that times at the point of removing the PPE, it gets torn, which further exposed them to danger.

Their fear became heightened when the Director of Public Health landed in the isolation Centre.

“Despite the kind of treatment we receive from the authorities, we are still doing our job. But it is incumbent on them to do the needful and not continue to cajole us.

“Everybody knows that we are at the forefront of the exposure as we deal with patients of the virus yet we are denied our allowance on the excuse that there is no money for now.

“At times when we request for our allowance, we would be told that it is a privilege and not a right. So we should not push it too far.”

Apart from the hazard allowance been owed, the workers said the administration is still owing promotion arrears since 2016.

“Also imagine the kind of PPE they supplied for the work. They even exposed us the more. The PPEs are either fake or inferior yet we don’t have a choice than to use it. Look now, the Director of Public Health has found himself in isolation Centre. The nature of his work also exposes him.

“So you can see the nature of the work we do. Nobody around us is safe, yet we are not given our dues as at when due. Some of us were even optimistic that the arrears would be paid with our salaries but we were disappointed. We will now go back to our families that there is nothing to show for the overtime and risk work we have been doing for the past seven months. It’s unfair but what can we do.”

Meanwhile, the FCT administration has reactivated the Idu isolation Centre as a result of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, while other centres, Asokoro, Karu are expected to come up as well.

The centres were shut following the reduction of incidences of the virus in September 2020.

 

 

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Guber 2023: APC Youths Summon Akan Udofia

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…Warn Habitual Candidates To Stay Off

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A Coalition of All Progressives Congress Youth in Akwa Ibom State has called on billionaire oil magnate, Mr. Akanimo Udofia, to consider contesting for governorship of the State come 2023 on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Udofia is the CEO/Managing Director, Desicon Engineering Limited, an engineering, procurement and construction services company, one of the major service providers in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. He was rumoured recently to have joined partisan politics on the platform of APC.

The APC youth coalition, which is an amalgamation of major political youth groups in the main opposition party in the State, made this call last Sunday, during its inaugural meeting at Akwa Ibom Renaissance Secretariat, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Anthony Bassey, the leader of Akwa Ibom Renaissance, urged youths to close ranks and objectively weighed antecedents of every intending governorship aspirant against the collective dreams of Akwa Ibom people.

He said the era of use and dump politics is over as youths are determined to assert themselves and get involved in every aspect of state development from electioneering to governance, adding that the decision to call on Mr. Akanimo Udofia to contest the 2023 governorship election in the State was reflective of current expectations of Akwa Ibom youths.

Governor Udom Emmanuel (l) with Mr. Akanimo Udofia (m) and Senator Godswill Akpabio (r) during an award presentation ceremony in 2018.

A communique from the group, made available to The Guide Newspapers further strengthened this position, which was reached after a reassessment of the chances of the party and the desires of the younger generation to raise the ante of governance in the State and Nigeria as a whole come 2023 and beyond.

Giving reasons for its choice of Udofia, the group stated that “the State at this time is in dire need of a governor whom the people can look up from his past and current development drive and economic pursuits and connections within and around the Nation and the world and can easily attract industries, capital investment and strong capacity and ability to harness his personal resources and wealth of business acumen to the wealth and resources of the State for the general good of all irrespective of party lines, religious affinity, social status and inclinations; a detribalized Akwa Ibomite, a national and internationally known and recognized figure who could break even at any stage in the world for the good of the State.”

It continued that “after a thorough, painstaking soul search, we have come to the inescapable conclusion and we vouch for MR. AKANIMO UDOFIA as such a person that possesses all the earlier listed qualities, credibility and charisma that will give us victory with ease and will not be a disappointment to our great party and state come 2023.

“His aspiration will boost our chances and help to add quality and value to our primaries and general Elections come 2023. We hereby extend the call to our illustrious and distinguished son to contest the 2023 general election as Governor of Akwa Ibom state.”

Mr. Anthony Bassey, addressing representatives of APC youth groups in the State during the meeting at Akwa Ibom Renaissance Secretariat, Uyo, last Sunday.

The youth coalition acknowledged President Mohammed Buhari’s efforts to enhance APC’s political capital in the State through various appointments of party chieftains in his government, which sadly failed to bring about notable political gain to the party hence it admonished [federal political appointees] to harmoniously work together to foster the positive nest of political gains in Akwa Ibom State.

Furthermore, the group warned habitual governorship candidates in the party to take a break and embrace change, noting that from past contests they have tested their popularity and known their strength “we also have come to know in real political participation paradigm their strengths and weaknesses hence we appreciate all they have built for the party and their followers’ strength at each congresses and general elections notwithstanding.

“It is our earnest position that owing to their antecedents and precedents in past elections we note that if they continue to work together and see more of the party good and push forward an acceptable more credible, younger, youth friendly candidate and push same for presentation to the Akwa Ibom people, it will be very easy for our great party to take over government”. The group posited.

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