A group of pensioners in Abia with the association name; Concerned Abia Pensioners, CAP, on Thursday in Umuahia, the state capital, decried the loss of their coordinator, Dan Amugo, and 15 others died as a result of hardship caused by non-payment of their pensions and gratuities.
IsL source reports that the aggrieved retired civil servants staged a two-day state-wide protest, demanding that they be paid their unpaid monthly pension for more than 45 months.
Chief Emeka Okezie, their new coordinator, lamented that, “Our coordinator, Elder Dan Amugo is in the mortuary and will be buried soon and pleaded with Abia State Government and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to come to their aid.
“Please, the government of Abia State is owing the Abia pensioners a backlog of over 45 months unpaid pensions” and the governor “seems not to have any regards for his fathers.”
“We have been dehumanised and subjected to unimaginable suffering as the death toll ranges to about 10 to 15 pensioners every month.
“Throughout this year, they started giving us one-quarter of our monthly payment. Every three months, you will see one-quarter of your monthly payments in your account. That is all.
“But on the backlog covering all these months, they turned deaf ears about coming to our aid. What we are pleading for is for this government to intervene seriously because a lot of us are in the mortuary; a lot of us are lying helplessly and have no money to buy drugs.
“We are the fathers; they are supposed to help us. Is it how it is done in other places?” they lamented.
The pensioners carried placards; some of which read, “Ikpeazu pay us our over 22 years of gratuity”, “Ikpeazu, be informed that many pensioners can no longer get medical care due to lack of money”, “Ikpeazu, why should we vote your candidates in the midst of this your wickedness against pensioners” and “Ikpeazu, please pay us our monthly pension arrears of 45 months.”