Pensioners in Osun state have again called on Governor Rauf Aregbesola to pay the backlog of their gratuities totalling twenty billion naira and salary arrears of 12 months, or risk total hostility in the state.The retirees under the aegis of ‘Forum of 2011/2012 retired public servants of Osun state” led by their chairman Ilesanmi Omoniyi today stated this during a peaceful demonstration in Osogbo, the state capital.
The pensioners who accused the state governor of being insensitive to their plights resulting from non payment of their entitlements, berated him for celebrating his 60th birthday while still owing them.
“The precarious situations of the workers and pensioners in Osun state which las led to unabated loss of lives of our people on daily basis as a result of nonpayment of 12 months salary pension and backlog of gratuities starting from 2008 to December 2012, amounting to 22 billion naira. For a responsive governor, the pathetic situation of workers and pensioners, in the state does not call for a flamboyant celebration of 60th birthday as it is happening in Osun state now”
“Also, as at today, people of Osun state are mourning the sudden demise of the first Executive Governor of the state and a distinguished Senator representing Osun west senatorial district, Sen. Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke. Even, if the plan to celebrate the 60th birthday had been in the pipeline before, the sudden death of our beloved senator is enough for a reasonable and sensitive Governor to shelve the unnecessary flamboyant celebration. Can we call this abnormal situation a celebration of the exit of his political enemy?”
“Thank God that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has attained the age of 60. If he is a public servant, must have retired from civil service and join the league of elders, the senior citizens that he is depriving of their constitutional entitlements. This is callous and sheer wickedness which we know that the Almighty God will repay him. If he refuses to change his mind and do what’s right for the pensioners”.
According to the chairman of the Forum, pensioners in the state are facing a lot of predicaments, ranging inability to pay their children school fees, avoidable sickness to loss of lives.
They appealed to the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to wade in on the matter by releasing the second batch of the Paris club fund to the state with proper monitoring on disbursement by the minister of finance.
“We are using this medium to appeal to Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Acting President of the federal Republic of Nigeria to use his good office and promptly direct the minister of finance and the Central Bank Governor to release the 2nd tranche of the Paris Club Fund to stem the rate of death of both workers and pensioners as they are the worst hit”
They warned that failure to pay their entitlements soon, will lead to total unrest in the state, saying, they have been patient enough.