What did I do to these people that they have refused to pay me my 18 months pension areas? I suffered for it, I am not asking for what does not belong to me. It is my rightful entitlements. Do they want me to die without enjoying the benefit of my labour?”
With these words and in tears, Pa Timothy Dumbiri Akpede, an 84-year-old blind pensioner from Umunede, Ika North-East local Government Area of Delta State, passionately appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on the appropriate Federal government agency to pay his 18 months pension arrears, outstanding from the federal share of pension.
It will be recalled that Pension and You had on February 16, 2012, published the pathetic plight of Pa Akpede.
Speaking with Pension and You, almost in tears, at his Umunede residence, Pa Akpede contended that the appeal became imperative as he now found it difficult to feed and take care of his medical needs.
He recalled that his predicament started in July, 2010 when the payment of his federal share of pension suddenly became irregular, lamenting that he had been receiving his pension monthly since he retired in 1984 until July 2010 when its payment became inconsistent.
The retiree who lost his sight in 2003, noted that he was not paid his federal share of pension from July 2010 to July 2011, stressing that the authorities concerned only paid him in August, October and November 2011 while his pension for the months of September and December 2011 as well as that of January, February, July and August, 2012 was not paid to him.
According to him, they paid him for March, April, May, June and July 2012 after the story of his predicament occasioned by the irregular payment of his federal share of pension was published on this page before they stopped paying him again.
While emphasizing that he had never missed any screening exercise for pensioners in the country, the Octogenarian said that it was most annoying that a man like him could be owed 18 months of pension arrears and exposed to such pains and inhuman suffering after serving the nation meritoriously.
He said “My wife and children have been struggling to feed me and take care of my medical bills because I do not go anywhere as a result of my health condition”, pointing that were if not for his wife and children as well as the grace of God, he would have long died of hunger since 2010 when the payment of his monthly pension became astonishingly irregular.
He, implored the relevant government agency saddled with the responsibilities of paying federal share of pensions to retirees to pity him because of his condition and pay him his 18 months pension arrears to enable him feed and take care of his medical needs.
He added, “The appropriate government authorities should have pity on me by paying me the arrears of my 18 months federal share of pension and after that, they should continue to pay me my monthly pension regularly to enable me feed and take care of my health until I die.”