Edo pensioners protest non-payment of gratuities

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BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE

BENIN—EDO State chapter of the Nigerian Postal Service Pensioners Wednesday said that over 100 of its members have died due to non-payment of pensions and gratuities, blaming the situation on the Post Master General of the Federation,  Alhaji Mori-Baba, who they alleged, withheld  their entitlements in the last seven years.

The protesting pensioners however, called for Baba’s immediate sack.

The pensioners who joined their colleagues across the country in a nationwide strike to press home their demands, carried placards with inscriptions; “Post-Master General pay us our six years entitlements; We have lost over 100 souls nationwide; We have lost many souls due to untold hardship;’’ shut down the premises of the Edo Area Territory office of the postal service , located at the airport road axis.

The aggrieved pensioners numbering several hundreds equally threatened to continue with the industrial action until their demands were met.

State chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP,  Comrade Clement Ojo who spoke with newsmen, appealed to both the Federal Government and leadership of the National Assembly to immediately intercede on behalf of the pensioners over the issue.

He said: ‘’We are appealing to both the National Assembly and the Federal Government to come to our aid and intervene. We do not know what the office of the Accountant General and the Post Master General have done with our money. The management of NIPOST refused to pay us all our benefits, shot-payments, gratuities and pension for about seven years now, since 2005”.

He noted that the management of NIPOST had failed to obey an agreement reached with the union to offset some of the outstanding indebtedness before December 20, 2012, after a 14-day ultimatum was earlier issued

“December 20, has expired, they did not even care to pay, now our children can no longer go to school, because of lack of money to pay fees; our pensioners have been driven out from their rented apartments; many of them are dead. We have no money to buy drugs for our members in admission in various hospitals,” he lamented.

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