…Says, Government indebtedness to Pensioners is sum of N26.7billion
A Forum of 2011/2012 Retired Public Servants of Osun State branch of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has given the reason why they organized the recent Internally Displaced Pensioners (IDPs) Camp for its member in Osun State as part of effort to take good care of their members medically and to draw the attention of the whole world to the plights and sufferings of their members in the State.
The forum also denied that the setting up of the camp was not politically motivated as being peddling around by the enemies of pensioners in the State and that was why no politicians visited the camp during the session , saying that they could not continue with the camp due to the security report that the State government and its agent were coming with their political thugs, popularly known as “ State Boys” to attack the gathering as they did in July 7th, 2015 mass demonstration by the retirees to pressure for their home demand.
This was contained in a Press Release issued and signed by Comrade Omoniyi Ilesanmi, Comrade Sola Olojede and Comrade Yemi Lawal, the Chairman, Secretary and Leader of the Forum respectively, which was made available to Journalists on Thursday, disclosed that no fewer than 1,468 members of the Pensioners in the State had lost their lives while waiting for their statutory emoluments owed by the State government.
According to the Statement:“There are many wrong insinuations and falsehood being peddling around by the Government of Osun State under the watch of Mr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola and his agents of evil. It is incredible to hear the governor that he does not owe pension or salary of pensioners and workers after the payment of December, 2016 half payment. It is against this backdrop that we want to put the record straight on our grouse against the insensitivity of the present administration to the pensioners’ plights and sufferings”.
Analyzing that “Between 2008 and 2012, Osun State government owes the Pensioners in the State, the sum of N22billion as gratuities till today. We have received between July 2015 and December, 2016, the half of our monthly statutory pensions. The Government of Osun is using the sum of N520 million to pay our full monthly pension and by calculation, the government is owing us complete nine months pension (18 months halves).As at today, Osun State Government owed us N4.7billion as Pension arrears. Then, the total indebtedness of Osun State government to retirees in the State amounted to N26.7billion”.
The statement further stated that no fewer than five hundred members of the retirees were on their sick beds without having money to buy drugs for their ailments, while many of their children have been sent out of schools due to their parents’ inability to pay their school fees.
It added that, some of their members have been ejected from their rented houses due to non-payment of accumulated rents, which made them to be living like lunatics in uncompleted and dilapidated buildings across the State as a result of non-payment of their gratuities and pension arrears by the State government.
The Statement noted that the only solution to the present imbroglio between the Pensioners and the State government was for the government to commence immediate payment of their gratuities and nine (9) months pension arrears which were their constitutional rights, otherwise, they would continue with their agitations.