By Abdulrofiu Agboola, Osogbo
Some retired civil servants in Osun State have explained the reason why they set up an ‘Internally Displaced Pensioners’ Camp in Osogbo, the capital of the state.
The retirees led by the Chairman of Forum of 2011/2012 retirees of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners said the decision to come up with the IDP idea came on the heel of the insensitivity of the Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s administration.
But another faction of the retirees, the Triangular Group of Osun Pensioners dismissed the claim of the insensitivity, saying that the government has paid their pension up till December 2016.
The aggrieved pensioners in a statement jointly signed by their leaders, Comrade Yemi Lawal, Chairman, Comrade Omoniyi Ilesanmi and the Secretary, Comrade Sola Ojedele, wondered why Governor Rauf Aregbesola would openly declared that government do not owe any pensioner.
They threatened to continue their action until Aregbesola pay their outstanding pensions and gratuities.
They explained further that the opening of IDP camp for their members became imperative to call the attention of the public to their plight.
According to the statement, the state government had only paid nine out of the 18 months with the use of modulated salary agreement reached by both parties in 2015 when the nation’s economy began to plunge.
The statement reads: “We have received between July 2015 and December 2016, the half of our monthly statutory pensions”
“The Government of Osun is using the sum of N520 million to pay our full monthly pension and by calculation, the government is owing us complete nine months pension.”
“As at today, Osun State Government owed us N4.7 billion as pension arrears as their total indebtedness to us amounted to N26.7 billion with gratuities inclusive”.
The group claimed that as at January 9, 2017, a total of 1,468 pensioners have died waiting for their statutory from the government.
It would be recalled that the retirees had on Monday opened what they described as IDPs camp close to the newly built Freedom Park in Osogbo, the state capital.
The action of the pensioners has generated controversy, as some people stated that it was wrong for them to use ‘IDPs’ for the sensitivity of the word.
However, the state government in a press statement by the Director of Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Mr Semiu Okanlawon described the pensioners’s action as a wicked and mischievous joke.
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