- Advertizes fake vacancies
- Dupes poor jobless women, youths
- We were asked to pay N5000 each -victim
- Withholds salaries, pensions
By Ime Silas
The eight months old administration of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has been described allegedly as “a reign of fraudsters”.
This assertion was made by some jobless youths and women in the state who have been allegedly duped by agents claiming to be working for the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
Our paper authoritatively gathered that while some unemployed young men across the state have been swindled by this alleged fraudsters, some job-seeking girls as well as married women have allegedly been sexually harassed.
Their modus operandi, according to investigations, is to write their telephone numbers conspicuously without addresses on eye-catching places such as fences, road pavements, etc, claiming to have job vacancies available.
When an undiscerning job-seeker calls, he or she would be directed to certain locations within and outside Uyo metropolis where they are brainwashed. These supposed employers would brandish all kinds of forms some of which carry coat of arm with inscriptions such as: “Akwa Ibom Youth Empowerment Scheme”, “Government of Akwa Ibom State: One Million Job schemes; Akwa Ibom State Government: women Empowerment Initiative; Akwa Ibom Consolidation Alliance (ACA): Youth Empowerment Job Creation, One Million Job & Community development Group: Skill Acquisition Applicant’s form”, etc.
Some of the victims who lamented their ordeals told the PROFILE Newspaper that they were asked to pay monies for forms ranging from N1000 to Five Thousand Naira depending on one’s choice of job.
One of them said: “ I saw this number 08130562163 written on a fence at Ikot Akpan-abia advertising a job vacancy. So since I‘ve been looking for a job for the past five years, I decided to call and a lady voice answered. After few questions, she dropped the call and later sent me a text.
“When I called back, she directed me to Udi street off Abak Road in Uyo. When I got there it was a young man who attended to me and he asked me to pay the sum of Five Thousand Naira, saying that the jobs were facilitated by Governor Udom Emmanuel. Since I did not have up to five thousand with me, I gave him N2000. The next moment, he called and invited me to come to the office. When I got there, he started making some sexual advances at me”.
The PROFILE Newspaper further gathered that while some of the ‘Udom’s agents on job matters’ allegedly use the illicit deal to swindle their prey of hard-to-get money, some take advantage of jobless girls and women, demanding and obtaining sexual gratification for some imaginary employments and empowerments, some of them seize the opportunity to secure political loyalty to the Udom-led P.D.P in the state.
“When I called the number”, our respondent confided, “I was invited to a street off Two-lane. On getting there, they brought out a form for me to fill.
After paying the five hundred naira they demanded, they asked me to join Udom Emmanuel Ambassadors, promising to make sure that I benefit from the next phase of inter-ministerial work in the state if Udom wins a rerun. They asked me to join them in campaigning for Governor Udom Emmanuel”
When our reporter placed calls to some of the displayed phone numbers, he was directed to various locations in Uyo, where it was confirmed that these jobs don’t exist, rather it is an avenue they use in carrying out their nefarious intentions.
It was gathered that these unwholesome racketeering started during the 2015 elections and only resurfaced after the Appeal Court ruling which nullified the election of Udom Emmanuel.
Meanwhile, most workers in the state have yet to collect their November, December and January salaries. Our Paper gathered that the Akwa Ibom State Government was allegedly employing a ‘divide and rule’ system in the state, paying few workers and leaving most to languish in hunger. According to some aggrieved workers and pensioners who called to register their displeasures, some of them have not received their November, December and January salaries and pensions.
Efforts to reach the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akan Okon to comment on the issue proved abortive as calls to his phone number were not answered nor returned. The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umana too could not be reached as he was not on seat when our reporter visited his office.
In a related development, the Profile Newspaper is investigating a duping case where a group of women at Mbiabong Ikot Udo Owot in Uyo fell prey to a woman who claimed to be coordinating the road side sweeping job for the Akwa Ibom State government-owned Green Brigade where they were swindled of their money. More details in subsequent editions.