by Tunde Ogunmola
The Pensioners in Osun State have continued to criticize the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for paying lip service to their plight in the state. This was disclosed by the chairman of the pensioners’s forum, Mr. Omoniyi Ilesanmi, at a press conference held in Osogbo yesterday, Tuesday 12th August 2017.
According to the pensioners, over 2,000 of their colleagues had died since the problem of non payment of gratuities and half modulated pensions began in July 2015. Ilesanmi noted that the governor is highly insensitive, in his decision to pay N50m each to those who served for just three years, while pensioners who served the state meritoriously for 25 and 35 years were left to die, without being paid their entitlements.
In his word, “It is interesting to note that the Governor (Rauf Aregbesola), who could not pay the pensioners who served patriotically for 25 and 35 years their meager amount of money as gratuities and are being neglected, dehumanised, humiliated, ridiculed and left to wallow in abject poverty and penury could pay his ex-political appointees (commissioners, advisers including himself and his deputy) N50m each with a single cheque on the eve of their disengagement for serving for just three years.
“Is this not an act of wickedness and callousness? ”
He said despite the fact that the governor claimed that he was not owing pensioners one year full pension, he just paid them the half pensions for the months of July and August 2015.
The pensioners said the two halves were just what the governor could pay them out of the huge amount of money he got on behalf of the state as the second tranche of the Paris Club loan refund.
They however asked Aregbesola to begin to “right all the wrong things” he had allegedly done before his tenure expires, according to them, he would no longer be able to make any valid policy statements, from May 2018 when the state would have gotten a new governor-elect.