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Human Rights Activist Raises N1 Million for Widows of Retired Primary School Teachers

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A Lagos-based lawyer and human rights activist, Inibehe Effiong, has raised the sum of N1 million for widows of two retired primary school teachers in Akwa Ibom.

While soliciting donations via his Facebook wall, Effiong stated that the widows are living a miserable life, following the failure of the state government.

“In less than 48 hours, I am pleased to announce that we’ve reached the N1 million target for the two widows whose husbands died without being paid their entitlements and benefits by the Akwa Ibom State Government despite putting in years of service as primary school teachers,” Effiong wrote on his Facebook wall.

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One of the widows

He added, “Late on Friday, I came across a video of one Mrs Comfort Effiong Akpan in which she spoke tearfully from her uncompleted, dilapidated building while narrating how she has been suffering due to the failure of the government to pay her the gratuity of her late husband.”

According to the lawyer, one of the widows, Mrs Comfort Effiong Akpan, has five children to cater for.

“I was led in my spirit to launch a fund raising campaign to support her in a little way. My initial target was N200, 000. I personally contributed a token of N20,000.

“On Saturday, my attention was drawn to a video of another widow, one Mrs Christiana Sunday Utuat, another widow whose husband died in 2010 while in active service as a primary school teacher in Akwa Ibom State. She has four children. She lives in a dilapidated building.

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Barrister Effiong and the widows

“I decided to include Mrs Christiana in the fund raising campaign.

“Thus, I increased the target from the initial N200,000 to N1 million; to be shared equally to the two widows,” Effiong stated.

He explained that the Next-of-Kins of the late primary school teachers and retired primary school teachers in Akwa Ibom State have been suffering for many years due to the failure of the government to pay them their benefits.

He noted that primary school teachers in public schools put in years of service to teach the “leaders of tomorrow”.

“But they are continuously treated as some inconsequential people by the state government. They have done everything to get the attention of the governor but to no avail.

“I know that N500,000 for each of them will not make them to be financially stable. But it is a stepping stone. It is a way of telling our teachers that the society appreciates them,” he said.

“I hope the beneficiaries will put the money to proper use. I also hope that those who preside over the affairs of Akwa Ibom State will see this not as a slap, but as a challenge to live up to their oaths of office.

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The other widow

“It is wickedness and evil to subject the Next-of-Kin of the Late Primary School Teachers and Retired Primary School Teachers in Akwa Ibom State to such neglect and hardship in a state that has received trillions in oil revenue,” he added.

“A governor that budgets a whopping sum of N10 billion for a worship centre should not have difficulty in paying gratuities. God is not mocked,” he added.

Effiong promised that he will be giving the two widows their share (N500,000 each) of the money donated by Nigerians from all parts of the country on Monday December 14, 2020.

“89 spirited and concerned members of the public from all sections of the country made this happened. I am extremely grateful to them.

“In total, the sum of N1,005,000.00 (One Million, Five Thousand Naira) was raised. The outstanding N5000 will possibly go for bank charges,” he concluded.

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