From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi
Scores of members of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Electricity Sector, Bauchi state chapter, yesterday protested peacefully against the alleged non-payment of their three months pension and four years gratuities.
The pensioners, who protested at the front gate of the office of the Bauchi Electricity Distribution Company Plc, at Ahmadu Bello way, Bauchi, chanted songs, carrying placards and calling on the federal government to give them their entitlements
Some of the placards read: ‘FG & NEMCO, please pay our monthly pension and gratuity and other benefits’; ‘FG let your agreement of 2012 prior to privatization of PHCN stand; ‘We are old people. You too will be old’; ‘FG be sympathetic and pay us our entitlement and other benefits; ‘NELMCO/FG, we are old people. Don’t let us die’.
The Chairman, Bauchi State chapter of the union, Malam Isa Olarewaju, said that the protest was a struggle against the pains being inflicted by Federal government on people that work or them for 35 years, saying that “for three months now no salaries some of us for four years no gratuities this is barbaric for those that serve the government”
Olariwaju said, “Many of our colleagues are diabetic. Many are suffering from other ailments and they are finding it extremely difficult to manage these ailments because there is no money to buy drugs. Some are hospitalized and all attempts to see the governor to let him know our plights proved abortive.
He accused the government of frustrating them, saying many of them had died due to lack of money while some of their children had been withdrawn from schools for the same reason.
According to him, “We are urging the Federal Government and the Board of Nigeria Electricity Liability Management, GTE/LTD to address their plights”.
The National Adviser on interim Union Relation, Alhaji Abubakar Tangale, said the non-payment of the pension had made life unbearable for many of the pensioners.
“We cannot continue to suffer when we have worked hard for the country and we are now supposed to be enjoying, but you can see how haggard many of us are looking. This is unfair.”