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By Usiere Akpan


The Akwa Ibom State government has directed all the state retired public and civil service employees with claims of unpaid pensions to pull together at the Office of the Head of the Civil service for investigation of their claims.

Gov. Udom Emmanuel gave the directive during a thanksgiving service to mark the First Sunday in the month of September which took place at the Living Faith Church, “Winners Chapel” IKot Ebido Oku, Uyo, Sunday.

Emmanuel said that the attention of his administration has been drawn to series of phone in programmes on radio and television stations by persons claiming to have retired from the state public service without pensions, stressing that it was time to address the claims by those persons, identify those persons and separate them from ghost retired personnel.

The governor explained that it was very disturbing to be hearing claims of unpaid pensions from persons while putting it side by side with the huge funds released on monthly basis for the payment of backlog of pensions, adding that a strategy of direct transition from salary payrolls to pension pay role has even been adopted and implemented in the state public service.

He mentioned that the face to face meeting of the acclaimed retired personnel would afford the relevant authorities to properly identify and verify the arguments of unpaid pensions, adding that his administration was ready to put an end to such claims.

Emmanuel said that the refusal of any person claimed to be a retired public or civil servant to come out would simply be interpreted as mere propaganda on nonpayment of pensions only meant to discredit the state, adding that it is on record that everybody duly retired have been paid pensions up to date.

The state resident cleric, Pastor Sam Olasupo reading from Psalms 107:20, Genesis 2: 8 and Nehemiah 8:8 said that the members of the Christian community have the obligations of relying on God for blessings, noting that there was no specific location of accepting God.

Olasupo, preaching on the theme: Is there no balm in Gilead, told the members of the Christian community to give respect to God and constituted authorities of states, adding that God was ever ready to honour the request of Christina for a turnaround in life.

The thanksgiving service was attended by a sea-head of Christians and featured prayers, songs, testimonies and praises to God.

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