By Chidi Nkwopara
Â OWERRIâ€” The team of officers charged with the responsibility of registering federal pensioners in Imo State have been accused of leaving the state without concluding its assignment.
Protest inconclusive registration
Imo pensioners, who disclosed this during their peaceful protest march in Owerri, also lamented that about 5,000 of their colleagues were left unregistered and would be regarded as ghost pensioners.
â€œIt is very painful that these unregistered but legitimate retirees would be treated as ghost pensioners when we all suffered under harsh conditions for three weeks, hoping to be captured in the exercise,â€ spokesman of the pensioners, Chief S.O. Ukadike, lamented.
Ask government to intervene
They passionately appealed to the state government to immediately intervene as a team of verifying officers left Owerri without concluding its assignment.
The senior citizens equally lamented that the executives of the state branch of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) were not on ground when the verifying team left for Abuja, pointing out that their pleas to be attended to fell on deaf ears.
Most of the affected, frail looking pensioners, who spoke to Vanguard during the protest march, condemned the organization and arrangement of the exercise.
Lament poor handling of exercise
They lamented that the organization of the exercise â€œis nothing to write home about,â€ adding that a situation where those who served their fatherland meritoriously were subjected to untold hardship was not only unwarranted but also most unfair and uncharitable.
Chief Ukadike also added that the manner the officials went about the assignment negated the importance President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Ikedi Ohakim attached to the welfare of the people.