While their Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, travels the country pursuing his political ambition of wanting to run Nigeria, pensioners in his domain are complaining they are being owed about N38 billion in pensions and gratuity.
In fact, they are invoking the power of God to get paid.
In apparent reference to Dr. Fayemi and his failed promise, the pensioners recalled the campaign promise to clear arrears of pensions and gratuity; but which remained uncleared and have increased.
The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Ekiti State chapter, on Thursday began a prayer session, are praying for Heaven’s intervention for the payment of their N37.8 billion gratuities and months arrears of pensions.
They are also angry over alleged non-compliance of the state government over the review of pensions in conformity with section 210, Sub-section 3 of the 1999 constitution, which mandated that, “pensions shall be reviewed every five years alongside the Civil Service Salary.”
The pensioners spoke at a press conference in Ado Ekiti by its Chairman, Mr. Joel Akinola.
Akinola bemoaned the fact that many of their members received gratuities last in 2012, thereby subjecting them to hardship and unwarranted deaths.
His lament: “As at December 2021, the state pensioners were owed N18 billion and last paid in 2013. The local government pensioners were owed N19.8bn and last paid September, 2012.
“State pensioners are owed three months arrears of pensions and the local government are owed seven months. We want to say enough is enough. Let them give whatever is due to Ceasar onto Ceasar.
“We have written to all party candidates to come here and tell us how they want to offset the indebtedness. We are their fathers, senior citizens and we are apolitical. We won’t allow them to come here and make promises they will never fulfil.
“In 2018, they came here to make promises to clear the indebtedness within six months, but rather than clearing it, it was increasing. The APC candidate will be here soon.
“We made this state the ‘Fountain of Knowledge,’ they will come here to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with us and if they fail, we will go their families and churches to report them.”
Akinola disclosed that many pensioners had died unable to pay medical bills, and homes had broken following the failure of pensioners to meet domestic obligations.
Many are also unable to pay the school fees of their children in different institutions of learning, unable to provide nutritious food for family survival, amid depression and hopelessness.
“We request for the establishment of the Ministry of the Elderly and Senior Citizens. It is our belief that the establishment of the ministry like the ministries of Youths and Women Affairs, will be an avenue for the pensioners to lay bare their plights to government.”