Thursday, 15 August 2019

Unpaid Gratuity: 26 year-old Joe Odey blocks entrance to Ayade’s office

15 August 2019

A 26 year old man, Joseph Oko Odey from the northern part of Cross River State, yesterday blocked the main entrance into Governor Ben Ayade's office in Calabar over his late father's unpaid gratuity. Odey, who carried a placard with inscription 'Your Excellency, Pls Pay Gratuity. My Family Is Distressed' , vowed to commit suicide if the governor refused to grant his request. 

He also said he would continue with his solo protest every day until the governor pays his father's gratuity, which the state Accountant General confirmed to be N13 million.

The young man said his father was a school principal who had worked for 33 years in the teaching service of the state and died four years ago.

He said his death had brought untold hardship to his family as a result of which he had been forced to become the breadwinner, adding that the education of his younger siblings has been thwarted as a result of lack of funds. 

According to him, he has processed all the official documents in respect of the payment of the late father's gratuity but the accountant general said the governor has not given approval for payment. He said: 'I am forced to embark on this one-man protest for, at least, one week even if the security personnel at the governor's gate will clamp down on me. At 26 years old, as firs son, i have been forced to become the head of a family. My family is suffering. We have no food to eat. 

'The education of my younger ones has been thwarted. Yet I am told that the governor does not want to approve payment of my late father's gratuity even I have processed all the official documents. My father's name is Mr Barry Anthony Odey. He died four years ago. 

He was principal of Government Secondary School in Ebo, Yala LGA. The state accountant general has verified the computation of the amount. There has been mounting requests in the state by elderly and retired senior citizens who have been demanding for payment of their pensions and gratuities over the last five years.


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