Osun Pensioners Protest Over Non Payment of 13 Months Arrears

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Gboyega Oyetola

Scores of retired civil servants in the employment of Osun State Government, on Tuesday thronged Osogbo, the state capital to protest non-payment of 13 months of pension arrears.

The senior citizens also accused the Governor Gboyega Oyetola-led administration of diverting a total of N6.3bn bail out funds recently released to the state as another tranche of Paris refund.

Speaking at the sideline of the procession, the Chairman of Forum of 2011/2012 Pensioners, Mr. Yemi Lawal said the current government in the state has not made any effort aimed at bringing succour to pensioners after the protracted economic predicament they suffered during the last administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

He further described retirees in the state as the most traumatized in the country, adding that it was unfortunate that they were suffering instead of enjoying their meritorious service of many decades to the state.

“It would be out of place for the governor to divert a lump sum of N6.3bn Paris refund, which was specifically meant for the payment of arrears of pension and other outstanding debts owed by the government.

“Many of our children were out of schools because we are unable to pay their school fees; we are indeed in a serious financial mess. The most disheartening part of the issue is that the government has refused to remit its contribution to those who retired under contributing pensioners since 2015,” Lawal said.

He further alleged that out of the Paris Club fund, the governor has released huge amount of money, with which he compensated the immediate past members of the state house of assembly.

According to Lawal, a sum of 6 million were given to each member of the state house of assembly who left office about three weeks ago while 3.3 million were also given to each of the newly inaugurated members of the assembly as wardrobe allowance.

In his reaction therefore, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Adeniyi Adesina described those allegations as total falsehood, saying governor Oyetola is disappointed in the senior citizens for according to him going to town on falsehood.

“That is absolute falsehood, it is shocking that elderly people of that ages could go to town base on falsehood, and failed to get their facts right before started making wild allegations that are unfounded.

“To set the record straight, the state has not been given any Paris refund, such funds would be publicly announced if given to any state. That is why I said it is shocking, even to the governor, that people who are elders could go to town base on false claim.

“Before the governor came into office, he promised that he would be transparent; he said that he would run a transparent government, and he has not reneged that promise”, Adesina said.

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