While the initiative by the Akwa Ibom State government to establish a Christmas Village during the yuletide season has been lauded by residents of the State, the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism Mr Orman Esin has decided to cash in on this to divert funds meant for the payment of artists who performed from dusk to dawn at the village to his private pockets.
Despite receiving Millions from the State government for the event, in what can be described as an in-born trait of using and dumping individuals who work for him without pay, Mr Orman in connivance with his mushroom Committee cunningly cajoled the artists who were selected via the audition to sign a form agreeing to perform for free at the event.
“So the Ministry got Millions to pay artistes for #XmasCarnival & afterwards his useless Committee printed “CONSENT FORMS” for artistes to fill. Now listen, if you filled that Consent Form accepting to perform free, you are a FOOL & will die a FOOL. That form was introduced by the Committee so they can swallow your performance fee”.
Findings showed that the Commissioner who was supposed to pay artists who fall under category A the sum of N150,000 and category B the sum of N50,000 following approval for the same, allegedly slashed N130,000 from it leaving a paltry N20,000 to be paid the artists who sang their hearts out at the Christmas Village.
“Approved A list were to get N150,000 and B list (those from auditions) were to get N50,000. People like General Odey, Captain Edet were A list but they got N20,000 instead of N150,000. They slashed N130,000 from their money”.
While those who performed at the event following their selection at the auditions went home with nothing having signed the evil form, Mr Orman who was seen parading around the Christmas Village and claiming glory for the initiative, not satisfied with the whooping N130,000 slashed from the performance fees of other artists, allegedly further declined paying a larger number of them the paltry N20,000.
“Sagas, O’giver, Supersonic Blaze, Jayrayzor have not been paid to the best of my knowledge, how do you swallow people’s cash. You underpay and then you’re still asking for cut. The committee has not paid a dime to those who worked before artistes were picked since audition. Now they are saying we should not say anything to the Commissioner. I go talk!” another source squealed.
An insider who is in the know also presented those who performed at the Xmas Village and were yet to get N20K from the Committee as MONDAY 9TH DECEMBER 2019 – Dot Zeal & Comedian A1, TUESDAY 10TH DECEMBER 2019 – Pastor Nice, Uncle Eddy & Opti, WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER 2019- Biza, Prince D’Luv, Akpan Akan-anwan, Johnbosco/Gee & Jamzi Kul, THURSDAY 12TH DECEMBER 2019 – Bossdet, Comedian MC Godson & MosbyYung, FRIDAY 23TH DECEMBER 2019- Saint Ema, Jimmy De Young, J P Money, XD Tunex & Mikky”.
Artists who performed at the Ibom Christmas Village are still in awe as to how Mr Orman could brazenly defraud them in broad daylight without fear of possible repercussions despite the Millions of Naira allocated and disbursed to his Ministry for the event.