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The Pensioners of Local Government Council in Ogun State have accused the state governor, Dapo Abiodun of refusing to listen to their plights as senior citizens.
The Pensioners described the governor as “faceless Governor” who is not concern if his people cannot afford square meal despite serving for 35 years.
The LOGPAN state chairman, Chief Sikiru Ayilara said this during the celebration of 2021 Pensioners day held at the Pensioners House, Behind Ita-Osin-Motor, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Ayilara lamented that pensioners in the state were faced with terribly precarious conditions which made them lack life-saving medical.
He raised concern that many of its members are dying like chickens after “35 years of patriotic service to Ogun State”.
The LOGPAN chairman claimed the governor failed to meet with them despite writing 13 letters and staging three protests.
He added, “You will all recall that it was His Excellency’s brazen refusal to respond to our thirteen (13) letters of APPEAL that prompted us to stage three (3) protests consecutively; of the third protest where the newly appointed Head of Service promised that within two weeks, he would make sure the Governor meet with us to find a lasting solution which as we speak has become another prank.
“Gentlemen of the Press, for whatever reasons, it’s a sin against God and humanity that His Excellency has refused to meet with us.
“Gov Abiodun’s non-clearing of our Gratuities is even a dishonour to all fathers and mothers, particularly his own father who appealed to him at the point of death to cater for the aged.”
He further said, “The truth is, in the last two and half years, Gov Abiodun has been giving flimsy excuse; insufficient funds to clear the ₦68bn.
“Gentlemen of the Press, you may recall that, early this year, His Excellency began payment of ₦500m every four months, a schedule that will take thirty-four (34) years to pay off the ₦68bn (ten years outstanding gratuity up to 2019).
“What about the outstanding ₦20bn of those who have retired between June 2019 and December 2021?
“Whereas, Gov Zulum of Borno State, in spite of the incessant insurgencies in the state, was able to source for sufficient fund to pay ₦12bn outstanding Gratuity in one day.
“Gov Seyi Makinde received an Award recently through his Commissioner of Information being a friend of Pensioners for his sincerity of purpose towards payment of gratuity. Of recent, Makinde paid ₦8bn outstanding Gratuity in a day; a State with low IGR compared to Ogun State of Prince Dapọ Abiodun.
“Gov Oyetola has paid over ₦40bn within the last three years, in addition to the lastest ₦708m to 300 retirees.
“Gov Sanwo-Olu who makes sure Pensioners get deserved priority has paid ₦32.8bn Gratuity for 8,170 retirees in two years.
“After all, former Governor Gbenga Daniel paid all outstanding gratuity in one day.
Gov Abiodun should know that refusing to pay Pensioners their Gratuities is a subtle way of telling the Pensioners to take their Gratuities in the grave.”
Ayilara however insisted that the governor is “not doing the state Pensioners any good” by releasing N500 million quarterly to the senior citizens.
He further said, “Gentlemen of the Press, we are saying categorically that Gov Abiodun hasn’t been doing us any favor by the release of half a billion naira (₦500m) quarterly as part-payment of outstanding Gratuity been secretly paid to unknown persons as members of Local Govt Pensioners Association, Ogun State.
“And thirdly, Gov Abiodun should restore the principal responsibility of Bureau of Local Govt Pension by directing the Ministry of Finance to handoff from doing the payment of Gratuity.”