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The members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Imo State chapter has called on the state governor, Rochas Anayo Okorocha to heed to court order which mandated him to pay them 100% pensions and clear all the arrears of their pensions and gratuities.
The Imo Pensioners otherwise called Imo Old Citizens made this appeal through their State Chairman, Chief Nwokedi Donatus in an address he presented on the birthday celebration of Prof. Protus Nathan Uzoma which he celebrated with them at their state secretariat on Monday.
According to Nwokedi, the Imo pensioners are dying on daily basis as a result of untold sufferings, starvation, psychological trauma and neglect caused by Governor Okorocha led administration insensitivity to their plight.
He availed that since January 2017 to March 5th, 2018, the state government has only paid them three months pensions out of the fifteen months that they are being owed adding that till date, many pensioners are yet to cash the cheques for the three months for obvious reasons.
He therefore appeal to all well-meaning people of the state to help in the efforts of ensuring that the government do the needful in order to save them from what he described as premature death.
“It is no longer news today that Imo State Pensioners are passing through excruciating and traumatizing coma caused by the insensitivity of the present administration.
“Without going through the litany of debts owed to Imo Pensioners, it is the blunt truth that from January 2017 to March 5th, 2018, the Imo State Government paid Imo State pensioner’s only three months pensions out of the fifteen months.
“There is no State in the federation where pensioners are owed gratuity from 1998. Since the inception of the present administration, no pensioner whose gratuity is above N500, 000 has been paid his/her gratuity.
“The pensioners of Imo State have remained on the same pension rate since 2000 because the Imo State Government has refused to harmonize the pension increases.
“As if the sufferings inflicted on Imo pensioners are not enough, the Imo State Government in 2016 issued a form that cut the pensions of Imo pensioners by 60%.
“This inhuman treatment of paying Imo pensioners 40% forced Imo pensioners into the streets to protest against the injustice on three occasions.
“When the Imo State Government refused to withdraw the illegal policy, the pensioners under the free legal aid of the Nigeria Bar Association went to National Industrial Court to seek justice.
“Our plea was granted and the Court ordered Imo State Government to pay us 100% of our pensions but as of today, the same government has refused to implement the Court order.
“We are using this platform to appeal to the Imo State Government to obey the Court order, pay 100% of pensions and clear all arrears of pensions and gratuities as well as harmonize all the pension increases granted by Federal Government since 2003.
“Finally, we appeal to Imolites to join Prof. Nathan in this humanitarian gesture since the ‘Imo Rescue Mission has refused to rescue Imo pensioners from abject penury, starvation and mass death.” Nwokedi said.
Speaking to newsmen on the basis of anonymity for fear of victimization, one of the pensioners said, “This government is wicked and inhuman.
“Honestly, if something is not done urgently to address our present condition, we would be forced to evoke the wrath of God.”