By Nick Chibunna
A group under the aegis of “CONCERNED 2019 IMO RETIREES” (Retiree 2019) have passionately cried to Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo State to urgently come to their rescue by paying their statutory pensions and other entitlements as they have been duly verified and captured during the December 2019 verification exercise by the immediate past administrator in Imo State.
The aggrieved retirees, numbering over 2,000 cried passionately for heavenly intervention during their meeting in Owerri, Imo State capital, at the weekend.
Weak, frail, hungry and sad they told journalists that after several entreaties and appeals to the office of the governor, the Head of Service (HOS), the Accountant General (AG), whose office is to see to the payment of pensions and other entitlements, but to no avail, they decided to once more cry to governor Uzodimma for rescue.
Some of them who spoke to journalists said that their cries have flooded heavens and provoked the mercy of God, as they cannot provide for their families, access their medical needs, as many of them live on drugs.
According to these retirees who spoke to newsmen under the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said that they were neither fraudsters nor ghost pensioners, but duly retired Imo workers who were duly verified and captured during the December 2019 verification exercise by the immediate past government in Imo State.
They wondered why after more than 30 months, they were yet to be paid their retirement benefits like some of their colleagues. They said that their entreaties to both the Nigeria Union of Pensions (NUP) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have fallen on deaf ears as these labour organization said they preferred dialogue to reach the powers-that-be.
In the absence of all these they have no other alternative than to cry for help, they said.
To this end they have written strongly-worded appeal letter to the governor, copies which they sent to prominent citizens and organizations in Imo State.
They included, All Catholic Bishops in Imo State, All Anglican Bishops in Imo State, All Pentecostal Bishops in Imo State, serving senators, federal Representative, Imo Assembly members, Elders Council Imo State, Nigeria Labour Congress, Imo Chapter, Nigeria Union of Pensioners and others.
After all these they said, if there is no response as to ameliorate their plight and hardship, they would organize state-wide prayer convocation for Divine interventions and necessary action.