By Toby Prince
A federal lawmaker from Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, has reportedly recruited 50 people to serve as personal aides.
Ukpong-Udo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represents Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Among those employed are a special assistant on special duties, community relations, community development, and logistics duties, to special assistant on women matters, protocol, and local legislative matters.
Also included are four media aides.
Members of the House of Representatives are permitted to employ only five statutory aides.
Therefore, 45, out of the 50 aides, would be getting their salary and allowance from the lawmaker’s pocket.
One of the aides, Imowo Mbede, on Wednesday, stated that the appointment of that number of aides was the lawmaker’s way of “empowering” his constituents.
“It’s basically an empowerment thing,” said Mr Mbede, an executive assistant to Mr Ukpong-Udo. “A good number of them are from all the wards in the two local government areas (Ikono and Ini), while others are from outside the federal constituency.”