By CrossRiverWatch Admin
A young Cross Riverian, Joseph Odey has protested none payment of his late father’s gratuity to his family by the State Government.
Odey who staged a lone man protest in the early hours of Wednesday occupied Peregrino (Government) House vowed to resume there everyday until the Governor approves the payment.
According to him, “I am at the Governor’s office today to bring attention to the non-payment of my late father’s benefits and gratuity after he had put in 32 years of faithful service to the State and died as a School Principal a few months before he was due for retirement.
“Following his sad death, I commenced processing the paperwork for payment of his benefits, completed it in 2017 and received official approval in January 2018.
“After waiting for another year and no payment was made to my family by the Government, I approached the Accountant General of the State about the matter but he told me that no payment was being considered and that there is a backlog of pending payments stretching back to 2014, all awaiting the Governor’s approval.
“Following this disclosure, I attempted several times to bring the Governor’s attention to the issue but all messages to that effect were unanswered.” He said.
Odey further lamented that, “My family has been facing hard times since the death of our father who was the breadwinner.
“My two immediate younger sisters at different levels of study in the University are on the verge of dropping out while the third who passed WAEC and JAMB exams this year faces an uncertain future due to our financial incapacitation.
“I make this public appeal to Governor Benedict Ayade – Your Excellency, kindly let my family have the chance to lead a decent life by giving the authorization for us to be paid.
“I will be here with my placard every day, come rain or shine, until the approval is given.” He maintained.
Reacting to the protest, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Christian Ita said “We inherited gratuity from 2013. We have paid the backlog for 2013. We are now paying that of 2014. It is being paid in batches. It takes processes to pay death benefits and gratuity. Since he has processed all the papers it will soon. It is a function of the availability of money.”
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