Osun Governor accuses retirees of mischief

Yinka Salaam, Osogbo

Pensioners in Osun State protest

The protest by a group of pensioners in Osogbo, the Osun state capital has been condemned and described as ill-conceived by the Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.

Governor Aregbesola said that the retirees were merely being mischievous.

Some retired workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners had protested on Wednesday, claiming that Government has refused to pay their pensions and gratitude since 2011.

The Chairman of the retirees, Mr Omoniyi Ilesanmi blamed their predicament since they disengaged from service to the alleged insensitivity of the State Governor.

The Governor said; “As they are protesting, some of them are getting bank alerts for August while some have received their pay since Tuesday. It does not sound good at all that the protest is taking place the very day the pensioners are getting their pay given the commitment already demonstrated by my government. We know this action by this group is not supported by the majority of pensioners in the state,” he said.

The Governor explained that the Local Government and Primary School pensioners as well as the pensioners who retired from the state civil service have all been paid up to August 2016 like all workers in the state.

“The arrangement is that Pensioners earning below N20,000 are paid in full and those earning above N20,000 are paid 50%. While we sympathise with our workers and pensioners for not paying up to date, that is October, it’s pertinent to state that this is not peculiar to Osun and indeed, Osun has made efforts that should be commended by all, especially in the face of national cash crunch,’’  the Governor stated.

Diversion of fund
He stressed that there was no basis for accusing government of diversion of fund because such never occurred.

Governor Aregbesola reminded the protesters to remember that the same government, being politically maligned increased the commitment on pension from about N150 million to over N650 million monthly.

“A government with no commitment to workers and pensioners’ good is not likely to have done this,” he added.

Mercy Chukwudiebere