Rest is sweet after labor. However, this statement does not apply to Imo pensioners in recent months. With backlogs of unpaid arrears and benefits, rest has been so bitter for them.
According to the Imo State Chairman, Retired Permanent Secretaries, Fabian Agba, the state government is owing pensioners up to 40 months accumulated pensions.
Agba, who spoke on our citizens’ engagement program on radio, #OfficeOfTheCitizen Owerri, revealed that out of thirty months he was owed, he only accessed three months while his wife was owed 44 months. These clearly depict the sorry state of pensioners in Imo State. Some have lost their lives while others are living from hand to mouth.
Recently, the death of the chairman, the National Union of Pensioners, Imo State, Gideon Ezeji was described as avoidable by his colleagues. The union attributed his death to the ‘callous treatment’ of pensioners in Imo State.
How long will pensioners continue to suffer in Imo? How long will retirees, who dedicated the active part of their lives serving the government, continue to be ignored by the same institution they served? These are the unending questions on the lips of ‘imolites’ and indeed concerned Nigerians.
A situation where the Imo state government is spending millions on statues for ‘heroes’ while pensioners are begging for food to eat is not only morally wrong but clearly a case of misplaced priority.
The Imo State government need to place its priorities right and take proactive steps to ameliorate the sufferings of pensioners. For a government that claims to be on a ‘Rescue Mission’, it’s time to rescue the true ‘heroes’.