By Emmanuel Ufon
The remaining fifteen victims of February, 2019 pre-election violence which resulted to damages of their vehicles at Obot Akara Local Government Area have called on the governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for help, even as one of their colleagues has died of kidney failure due to lack of financial assistance.
The Co-ordinator of the affected drivers, Prince Mathew Johnson, while addressing newsmen immediately after a brief meeting with the Chairman of Obot Akara Local Government Council, Etubom Anietie Akpaeto, said their colleague died as a result of lack of money to battle his ailments since his only means of livelihood was destroyed by political thugs .
According to him “our colleague died before the global coronavirus pandemic, since then we have no money to bury him all what we had with us we contributed towards his bad health condition.
“We met with many of our representative including the Chairman of Obot Akara Local Government Area, Etubom Anietie Akpaeto for an assistance to pay for the mortuary bill and other logistics to bury our colleague but to no avail, even the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District, Senator Christopher Ekpenyong for an assistance
to help our self during the period of lockdown and also to inform the governor of our case but he declined, we want our governor to give us an assistance in times like these pending on when the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) will look into our case which is still pending on their table for over a year and some months now.
“We have children at home, wife and others who are depending on us.
“Some of us obtained the vehicles on hire purchase, till date we are still battling with debts not to talk of feeding our families, even our colleague, the late Peter Johnson of Nto Ekpe village in Obot Akara died and left behind four children, wife with an aged mother”
Johnson, said that some of the affected drivers whose cars were burnt down are sick unable to take care of their hospital bills and even their families.
He called on the governor and other public spirited individuals to come to their aid by helping them out of their presents predicament while awaiting the responses from INEC which will take a long time.
On his part, the Independent National Election Commission ( INEC) Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Don Etukudo affirmed that their issues is on process and will soon be look into.
According to him ” I’m aware that their issues with us will soon be resolved, if not the challenges occasioned by this coronavirus, I believe our headquarters would have done something on that by now”, he said.
Speaking further, the Akwa Ibom state Chairman of the National Union of Road Transportation Workers (NURTW), Mr. Uwem Imo said he has spent a lot of time and money seeking for a possible solution to their plight as INEC delayed in compensating them.
“The current global pandemic has seriously affected us in the transport sector because of the interstate lockdown, I am appealing to the Chairman of Obot Akara Local Government Area, Etubom Anietie Akpaeto; the Commissioner, Ministry of Sport, Hon. Monday EbongUko; the member representing Obot Akara/Ikot Ekpene State Constituency, Hon. Idongesit Ntepere; the two National Assembly members in the area, Senator Christopher Ekpenyong and Hon. Nsikak Ekong to please assist them.
“I have spent a lot of money, right from when INEC needed Police and Fire Service certification including the litigation cost on the issue”, he said.