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NUP directs pensioners to withdraw from verification exercise in Oyo

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By Demola Akinyemi

THE Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP,   in Oyo State   has directed   its members   to withdraw from the ongoing verification exercise in the state   over the harsh   environment under which the initiative   was being carried out.

A cross section of pensioners

The state’s  NUP Secretary, Mr Olusegun Abatan, gave the directive to retired primary school teachers and local government workers on Tuesday while speaking on the hardship pensioners were undergoing during the   exercise.

The state government ordered  the screening which started on Monday for retired primary school teachers and local government pensioners in the state.

The verification exercise is aimed at  ascertaining the actual number of pensioners in the state.

Abatan said that the verification exercise was poorly organised with  aged pensioners   suffering under the sun.

He claimed that the pensioners had   no chairs to sit on while awaiting verification while some had fainted in the process.

Abatan also said that the computers   being   used by the consultant for the exercise were inadequate while some were not working properly.

“ The consultant informed us that it is not his duty to provide chairs at the   venue of the screening but that of the government.

“We are ordering our members to withdraw from the screening exercise pending the time government does the proper thing.

“We are going to withdraw from the verification exercise and not coming back until the government is prepared for the exercise   because we cannot continue to put the lives of pensioners at risk,” Abatan said.

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He said that the withdrawal from the verification exercise would not affect the payment of pensioners’ gratuities and pension and   called on the government to tell the consultant to do the right thing.

A visit to some of the verification centres such as Ibadan North West Local Government and Ibadan North East Local Government showed that the venues were   congested.

Many of the pensioners were sighted queuing under   the scorching sun.

Mr Amole Adedayo, and Mrs Akerele Abiodun , both pensioners who came for the exercise, described the exercise as stressful.

Adedayo said he had arrived at the venue at   8:30 am and had not been   screened as at 1:30 pm due to the inclusion of pensioners in many local councils in one centre.

He advised the government to ensure that the exercise was conducted in   each local government and not collectively as  currently being done.

But the consultant handling the verification exercise, Mr Dayo Bankole, urged the pensioners to be patient.

Bankole said he had spoken with   government officials, adding that they were currently working on how to create more verification centres in order to     make the exercise faster.

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