By Mabel Ekanem

Staff of the State-owned newspaper, the Akwa Ibom Newspaper Corporation, publishers of the Pioneer newspaper titles, have made a passionate appeal to Governor Umo Eno to save them from the afflictions they are currently passing through and also remove their chief executive from office.

The staff, who decided to remain anonymous for fear of being punished if identified, lamented to our reporter that for eight years now under the current general manager/editor-in-chief, Mr Umoette Umoette, the only thing they get is salary while other allowances and bonuses which usually emanated from the corporation have been denied them.

Some of their grievances against Umoette include non-payment of production allowance, transport allowance, Christmas bonus, meals for production staff, lack of toilet facilities, water and constant electricity supply, staff buses, utility vehicles and internet service.

Other include inadequate tables and chairs, good ventilation, broken doors and windows, carpets in offices, working tools, an unkempt environment which is fast becoming a bush and leaking roofs among others.

Those who spoke to our reporter said due to the untidy environment, rats and snakes have become common scenes in the offices, especially at night.

On the issue of ad-hoc staff, they disclosed that these unfortunate onces have served the corporation for ten years and above and are yet to be staffed.

Furthermore, they are being owed their monthly stipends in addition to the amount owed them before the Udom Emmanuel government’s mass sack in 2017 which also affected the Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation Radio and Television services as well as the Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission (EARCOM).

The staff also regretted that despite the governor’s recent directive to chief executives of government parastatals to vacate office, Umoette is still on seat to perpetrate injustice on them.

They implored Governor Umo Eno not to only bark but to also bite and ensure that a new hand is sent to salvage them from their woes.

With tears, they lamented that in spite of the huge subversions from government, their corporation is being turned to a Nazi concentration camp under Umoette who finds it difficult to harness the available resources via the printing machines to better their lots, insisting that even under the military regime, staff motivation was given top priority compared to what is the case today.

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