Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), South East zone, on Friday, lashed out at the governors of Imo, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi states over the non-payment of their pension arrears and gratuities.
The body lamented that the non-payment of the backlog of their entitlements in the affected states except Anambra State have caused their members untold hardship with many of them dying prematurely as a result.
The retirees made the lamentation during their zonal meeting held at Local Government Service Commission, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital.
They lamented that many of their members have died while many more are writhing in pain due to paucity of funds to carter to their needs.
Zonal Secretary of the group, Evang. Livinus Ashiegbu, told Saturday Sun that their members die en masse daily because they were deprived of their pensions with which they buy drugs and foods.
“The condition of pensioners in the South East is deteriorating. It is unheard of. It is inhuman. Pensioners are not treated as Nigerians. I wonder if they are citizens. And the nation forgets that these are the people that have built up the state.
“The time they need this little money; their saved salary, they’re denied of it for years. The question of gratuity is the most pathetic. For example, since 1998 in Imo State no pensioner has received his gratuity if it is above N500,000”, he added.
The retirees, while praising the Anambra State Government for being faithful to the payment of pensions and gratuities advised the other four states to emulate it for the good of their senior citizens. ENDS