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The Burden Of Being A Senior Citizen In Nigeria

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Year 2020 will forever remain an unforgettable one in the minds of those who are around to witness the ravaging effects of COVID19 pandemic globally. While this ‘World war’ against an unseen enemy lasts, the magnitude of destruction it will leave on humanity remains to be fathomed.

The solution to this warfare will depend on how nations are able respond aggressively the challenges of covid19, manage available human and financial resources as well as taking proactive measures to plan ahead for a post covid19 economic recession which is bound to happen.

Please permit to return to the subject of this write up. Being a senior citizen attracts honour and support from the citizenry as these class of nationals are deemed to have contributed their quota in whatever capacity to the growth of a nation. This is the true situation in any country where their elders are valued and appreciated.

The ongoing fight against covid19 has exposed the leadership of Nigeria in this regard.

It is a known fact that Senior citizens are the most vulnerable in the society to all forms of diseases or environmental challenges due to their age.

In advanced countries, social packages are instituted to care for the elderly.

While the African nations are mostly lagging behind in this regard, it is a known fact that our leaders in Nigeria are short of ideas on how to care for the elderly ones.

The shoddy way the covid19 palliatives are being managed at the ministerial and state levels call for question.

The reactions that greeted the mode of distribution of the palliatives attested to failed manner of administration in Nigeria.

My noble question is this; ‘What mechanism have been put in place by the successive governments to cushion the effects of unforseen adversity on the populace?

Covid19 pandemic is certainly not the first adversity to be witnessed in Nigeria. Ebola is still fresh in our memory. Why is the government always in disarray when there are disasters like this?

It is very certain that Nigeria and indeed Nigerians shall overcome the now ravaging covid19 pandemic by whatever means albeit suffering from the effects of lock down of the economy.

The elderly and physically challenged are the sheep without Shepherd while the pandemic lasts.

It is unfortunate that retirees are now begging state governments to pay them part of their monthly stipend to enable them buy food during this period of lock down.

It is on authority that the Federal government have only paid its retirees gratuity up to December 2018.

These retirees are among the senior citizens and the most vulnerable in our society. Why are they being neglected to suffer inconsequentially in a country where their active years were spent to serve the government? The dilemma of this class of citizens in Nigeria more so in the face of the ravaging covid19 is worrisome.

It can only be noble for all strata of government to be responsive in caring for the elderly in our society.

All unpaid gratuity should be released will pension areas should be paid without delay.

In the face of poor economic status of Nigerians even before the outbreak of covid19 pandemic, neglecting the senior citizens in our society will only amount to a deliberate action by the government to send the senior citizens in Nigeria to their early grave.

Nothing can be more edifying for the government to do the needful right now.

Written by:
Badewole Sunday
A retiree

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