Akwa Ibom Day Celebration and the woe of Civil Servants by Ubong Essien

On the 23rd day of September, 1987 the then military Head of state headed by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida invoked the military decree to  create two more States in the country. Akwa Ibom state was one, and the other was Katsina States. This creation made Akwa Ibom state and Katsina state  twin state. For record purpose, Akwa Ibom state was created from Cross River state. And Katsina state created from Kaduna state.
From the people of what was then otherwise known as the hinterland in then Cross River state, it was a joy galore. It was a dream come true. It was a reflection or duplication of the story of the Israelites who had dreamt of returning to the land of their own. Of course, that day came and the exodus came. Finally, they had gotten and lived in a land of their own. Finally, Akwa Ibom state became the land of the dreamers in then Cross River state. Since then, 23rd September of every year has been remembered and celebrated as Akwa Ibom day by the Akwa Ibom people anywhere.
In the state, the government earmark events to mark the day. It’s always colourful and reminiscence. At the same time, while the ecstasy in the celebration blooms, pains are inflicted on certain sets of people.
Of course, the civil servants are the victims. There is a case of giving with the right hand and getting back with the left hand. Civil servants in the state notice deductions in their salaries, especially when it has to do with special days celebration like this, the 9999 celebration, etc. Funding of the celebration is targeted at deduction of civil servants’ salaries.
When I remembered the month of September, I remembered the Akwa Ibom state Day celebration. And I remembered that the month of deduction on salaries has come. It then brews concern and hype worries. Why is our month of celebration turning to our month or disappointment and grief for our civil servants? Is our blessing our curse?
Of course, the labour leaders in the state are aware of this, but they won’t talk. Yes, labour Union that is supposed to be the mouth piece of workers are becoming the Judas of the workers. Betrayal has been enthroned..
The civil servants are the most cheated in terms of renumeration. Yet they are the ones been exploited. But why is the salaries of the civil servants the targeted source of funding of the celebration. It is no more news that since the emergence of the present state government, some basic allowances of civil servants are stripped off their take home, leaving them with their paltry basic salaries. Yet, this is what the state government still eyes to be deducting.  This then reminds me of Naboth’s vineyard. There is injustice done here. The public office holders on the other hand who are highly remunerated still smile home with their jumbo salary and allowances. Unfortunately, September in the month of school resumption where civil servants who have their children in schools would need money more to send their wards back to school.
This is to remind the civil servants in the state of their month of woe and at the same time, condole with them over the pathetic situation. The deduction has always come in this month. Just start bearing in mind and start adjusting your budget for the month. Welcome to the month. May the good Lord help you all


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