By Dayo Johnson
THEIR countenance was nothing to behold it was clearly evident that they were angry with the system following the directive that they should report in Abuja for the new biometric verification
Under the platform of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), pensioners in Ondo state protested in Akure that over 2000 of the 6000 of them were not registered during the recent biometric exercise conducted in the state no thanks to the faulty system.
They called for the removal of the Head of Service and rejected the new biometric verification for pensioners ordered by Head of Service, HOS of the Federation.
The protest was sequel to the directive that all pensioners that were not available during the biometric exercise should report to Abuja for verification.
The gathering was meant to be a meeting to decide their next line of action following complaints that many of them were not verified during the last exercise in Akure because of the fault of officials sent from Abuja to conduct the exercise.
But the meeting later turned into a protest as the pensioners’ one after the other threatened to curse Nigerian leaders for the treatment meted out to them as a result of the directive from the office of the HOS which they described as unfair.
They described Nigeria as a “failed state’. “It has again been proven that Nigeria is a failed state. There is nothing which government can do well. We have served the country meritoriously and will deserve to be treated well.
Addressing newsmen after theprotest in Akure the Chairman of NUP in the state Chief Eni Olotu, who also doubles as the South West Chairman of the Union, said the inability of the pensioners to be verified was as a result of lack of enough manpower and equipment brought to the state during the exercise.
“During the registration exercise, the people who carried out the assignment came with just two computers which were not enough for the pensioners in the state.
Despite that many of our pensioners came from distant places for the exercise, those posted to the state still messed up. One of the laptops being used for the exercise was stolen.
So, do you know blame our members for the HOS ineptitude? It is not true that our members are not available for the exercise, some whose data were captured during the exercise also have one problem on the other”
“We vehemently reject the directive that our members who were not verified should come to Abuja, we are totally against it. Why should aged people between the ages of 67 and above should be asked to come to Abuja for verification exercise?
It is totally unfair to our members. How do you expect people who will not collect more than N1, 000 every month to now go to Abuja? It has again been proven that Nigeria is a failed state. There is nothing which government can do well. We have served the country meritoriously and will deserve to be treated well.
The government is only giving us our right and nothing more, it is not a favour or privileged.”