The Triangular Group of Pensioners in Osun has once again expressed its utmost displeasure on what it termed sponsored attack on the governor and government of Osun by a section of the 2011/2012 pensioners led by Mr. Omoniyi Ilesanmi on what it described as an unwarranted ploy to distract and impede the wheel of progress and development.
This was made known in a press release signed by the Chairman, Prince Rotimi Adelugba, where he affirmed the position of his group on the true state of finances and its resolve to champion the plights and welfare of the pensioners. In his words, “We are not the mouth piece or spokesperson for the government but we are in constant touch with the Osun Government on the financial status of the state, hence we consider it necessary to inform the public”
“As responsible senior citizens, we have been demoralized by the orchestrated media attacks, fabricated and perpetual lies, unguarded utterances and malicious statements made by the Ilesanmi group that the Aregbesola administration paid each political office holder who served between November 2010 and November 2014 the sum N50 million each as severance allowance; that the government refused to pay their gratuities but instead spend the meagre resources of the state on frivolities. These allegations are baseless and unfounded.
“All available evidence shows clearly that the severance allowances given to former Commissioners and Special Advisers were in the range of N 2.8 million – N4million, and these were only paid to those who are statutorily and constitutionally entitled to such payment as gazetted in the State of Osun Public/Political Office Holders and Revised Remuneration Package Law of 2007 which is in consonance with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act.
“We are greatly disturbed that the Ilesanmi Omoniyi led 2011/2012 pensioners have turned themselves into a dirty weapon of destruction in the hands of the opposition party in the state and have now resorted to cheap blackmail against the government which has continually displayed high level of responsibility towards the welfare of the entire citizenry, civil servants and pensioners, in spite of the paucity of funds which has affected the whole country.
“It is also noteworthy that these supposedly senior citizen had earlier issued a libellous and fraudulent piece where it was alleged that the Aregbesola government diverted the second tranche of Paris Club Refund to the recently concluded Osun West Senatorial election, even when none of the states of the federation had received such. We were vindicated when the second tranche of Paris Club Refund to the State of Osun was eventually released 30 clear days after the Osun West election was concluded. What a contradiction and a show of irresponsibility on the path of the Ilesanmi led 2011/2012 pensioners!
“We are a non-partisan, non-political group. As elders and senior citizens, our immediate concern is on how to join hands with the present administration towards the sustainability and development of our dear state.
“We are happy and satisfied that pensioners were not left out of the first and second tranches of the Paris Club Refund as well as the concessionary loan guaranteed by the CBN, popularly called ‘bailout fund’. We want the whole world to know that in the recent disbursement, Osun pensioners were allocated N791 million out of the N6.3 billion received.
“We appeal to the Ogbeni Aregbesola led administration to continue to offset the pensions and gratuities of our members as and when due, notwithstanding the cheap blackmail by Ilesanmi and his ilk.
“We have observed also that it is the global trend that the use of fossil fuel to power machines and automobiles is gradually coming to an end as more countries are beginning to switch to renewable and sustainable energy. With this, the Nigeria economy which derives her strength majorly from crude oil will be badly affected and stands the risk of atrophying. Therefore, we admonish all strata of government to think outside the box in order to generate income on their own and survive in the fast approaching post crude oil era.
“We shall continue to agitate for the payment of all our outstanding arrears in mature and civilized ways through constant deliberations and consultations devoid of hatred and blackmail, without constituting public nuisance.
“We also implore all other stakeholders, especially the Ilesanmi Omoniyi led faction, not to constitute themselves into a distraction and stumbling block to the government.