Take protest to Edo NUJ secretariat
By Osaro Peters
Aggrieved members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners Edo state chapter have, in a peaceful protest called on the Godwin Obaseki-led Edo state government to release their outstanding entitlements.
The group which was made up of very elderly retirees who brandished placards with inscriptions like “Governor Obaseki, satisfy the intention of the Paris Club by disbursing their donation of 11.8billion Naira for retirees benefits” and others, made the plea on a stop over at the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ Secretariat, Edo state chapter where they were ably received by the union secretary in the absence of the union chairman yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved pensioners, Mr Osemwenkha Osabuohien said that the pensioners are surprised that the governor has refused to do anything about their plight since the bailout fund has been released to him over three months ago. “Governor Obaseki has no right to tell us now that there is no money like his predecessor did because the bailout fund has been released to him. The Governor also has all he needs to work with, as all the data he requires are in the state ICT. So why has he decided to punish us?” He queried.
Osemwenkha also said that other states have started disbursing funds to their pensioners but Nobody seems to understand the plans of the Edo state governor as regards solving the problems of the pensioners. He further appealed to the Governor to do the needful as a lot of their members have lost their lives in quest of getting their entitlements. “The government has no plans for the aged so what we have asked for is our entitlements because we have served with our youthfulness and in turn deserves our entitlements” he bemoaned.
Representing the Chairman of The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Sir Rowland Osakue who was unavoidably absent, the Secretary of the union, Comrade Aliu Alemma Ozoriuva while receiving the aggrieved pensioners said that the plight of the pensioners is now a frightful thought in the hearts of the young in the public sector who may now be allaying fears as regards to the fact that this can also be their case in years to come and is obviously not palatable to the ear.
He said “if there is anything to go by what the government is saying, the people expect that it will be a worker and labor friendly government whilst expecting that the new government should surpass whatever little effort his predecessor made in office”.
The Union secretary further pledged his support and that of the union to the aggrieved pensioners assuring them that members of the NuJ as it is known has dedicated their lives to the service of the people and will continue to act as the bridge between the government and the governed.