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Don’t tamper with retirees’ pensions – Prelate tells Gov Okorocha, says rtd workers deserve respect

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has been urged to have a rethink in his alleged moves to underpay pensioners in the state.
Archbishop Bennett Okoro PhD, the Anglican Bishop of Orlu told the governor recently that asking retired workers in the state to sign off a greater percentage of their pensions and terminal benefits was wrong.
Most Rev Okoro was speaking at the 3rd session of the 11th Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Orlu, held at St Silas Anglican Church, Ihioma, in Orlu Local Government Areas of Imo State.
The Imo State government was reported to have issued forms to pensioners which required them to sign to receive 40 percent of their pay and not to ask for the balance of 60 percent in future.
Later, another form was said to have been circulating, asking them to sign that they would accept 50percent of their monthly pension’s beginning from January this year.
Archbishop Okoro stressed that signing such documents could deal deadly blows on the pensioners legally, should any administration in future decide to pay them what they are owed.
He, however, praised the Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, for his efforts in promoting agriculture, especially the palm tree planting programme (Ikuona-Nkwu), lamenting that planlessness, over-dependence on oil and complete disregard for agriculture had plunged the nation into recession.
According to him, investing in agriculture would be of immense benefit to the state.
The prelate expressed deep concern over the growing unemployment of well qualified youths, non-payment of full salaries to workers, neglect of pensioners whom he refered to as senior citizens that served the state using the better part of their lives.
On the theme of synod, ”standing on the promises of God”, Archbishop Okoro reminded Christians that God’s promises are unshakable and that they  sparkle, being the unbreakable anchor to human problems.
Earlier in his sermon, the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna and the Anglican Bishop of Kebbi, Most Rev Edmund Akanya, highlighted God’s promises contained in the bible to include salvation from sin, baptism of the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Holy Spirit and His fruits, comfort, peace, joy, mercy from God, purity of the heart, answer to prayers eternal life, divine  protection and travelling mercies.
Others are sonship, mansions, great reward in heaven, long life, rest to the soul, and power with God to do all things, the presence of God, wisdom and complete spiritual satisfaction.
It also includes security, honour, healing, sound health, resurrection of the body to immortality and eternal life.
Highpoint of the synod was the presentation of awards to deserving persons, which included the wife of the Imo State Governor, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha PhD, and Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri  (Eze Imo) Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Ven. Kinsley Nwosu was also elected as the new Clerical Synod Secretary  (CSS) for Orlu Diocese while Sir Boniface Ihetu became the new Diocesan Lay Synod Secretary.

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