**Ignore them, says Adamawa indigene in Abuja.
From: Musa Solomon, Yola.
Pensioners in Adamawa State have advised Governor Mohammed Bindow Jibrilla to forget any hope of being re-elected in 2019, if he fails to pay them their over N20 billion pensions and gratuity arrears this month.
A retired permanent secretary, Alhaji Mustapha Galadima, told journalists in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, that the pensioners in the state will also pay the administration with the same coin it is paying pensioners in the state .
He said that the present administration is inhuman on issues concerning pensioners.
But an angry Adamawa indigenes resident in Abuja, Mallam Abdulrazaq, was livid yesterday describing the position of the retired top civil servants as untenable, because they were silent when the state was being raped by past administrations.
“Was it under their watch that an administration was paying people N300 million to construct roads that are just like five kilometers and nothing happened and they are talking about their own pension?”
“Don’t bother about them…why do you bother about such people.. People who have shown that they are corrupt to their marrows. Please give the Governor the benefit of doubt, because these were not his permanent secretaries, and I don’t think he is obliged to pay them,” Abdulrazaq insisted.
On the State radio, the chief of staff to the governor, Alhaji Abdullraman Abba Jimeta, was quoted as saying that retirements benefits are privileges and not rights of pensioners.
He said that government has the right to skip some of the retired benefits and pay those that are more important to the administration.
Galadima, who said that he will join issues with Jimeta, due to his ignorance about civil service rules, pointed out that all pensioners benefits are stipulated in the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“Jimeta has never been a career civil servant he worked only briefly in General Ibrahim Babangida’s MAMSER and resigned at grade level 08, so you can see that he has no knowledge of civil service in this country”, he stated.
Also speaking at the press conference that was attended by over fifty retired permanent secretaries, the state chairman of the Union Mr. Samson Almuru, said that since the state was created, past and present administrations have refused to comply with the new law for increments of pensioners allowances .
“You can imagine that some of the retired permanent secretaries in Adamawa state are still taking seven thousand naira as their pension. A retired permanent secretary and former secretary to the state government Alhaji Abubakar Geire, who is now on sick bed is still taking seven thousand naira monthly as his pension and for several months it has not been paid,” he stated.
“A matter for regret is the issue of some deceased permanent secretaries and the executive chairman of the state board of internal revenue who died in active service close to seven years now, their benefits are not paid fully to their next of kins. The government is aware but could not take action accordingly. Sadly too, we have over forty permanent secretaries, state and local government auditors-general and clerk to state Assembly retired from 2009 to 2016 still waiting to be paid their legitimate benefits,” he stated.
Almuru said that pensioners in Adamawa state were excluded from the 2016 bail out funds of federal government and the recent Paris club refunds, despite the fact that the state got over N10 billion from the two allocations .