By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has vowed to massively mobilise votes for any candidates that are pensioners friendly ahead of the 2023 elections.
The Senior Citizens explained that having such persons in power would guarantee a sense of belonging, respect and improved welfare for its members.
This is as the pensioners’ union has commended the Pensions Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) for embarking on result oriented actions that are easing many challenges faced by pensioners in accessing their pensions.
President of NUP, Comrade Godwin Abumisi, who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, said pensioners were keenly and curiously watching the political space and the ongoing aggressive campaigns being embarked upon by the various candidates vying for different positions under different political parties.
He said: “Certainly the pensioners shall pitch their tent with the Presidential or Gubernatorial candidates who are committed and more disposed to their cause and plight by massively casting their votes for them in order to secure their tomorrow.
“We are still watching them and for the first time in Nigeria, we are going to make sure anybody who will not be disposed favourably to Pensioners in Nigeria is going to fail in the elections. A time has come when the politicians will stop taking us for granted.”
Abumisi, who commended the PTAD for bringing succour and smiles to Nigerian pensioners through their various policies and interventions said the action has brought noticeable less agitation and outcry.
He said that PTAD could not be “held responsible for delay of monthly pensons or any related payments as misconceived by the misinformed general public.
According to him, the introduction of PTAD’s ‘”I Am Alive” application software was to routinely check the status of aliveness of pensioners and to remove death cases from the database and payroll, eliminate the rigorous physical verification exercise and most importantly, save the Federal Government billions of naira.
The NUP President however decries the “pathetic” plight and unfortunate living conditions of state pensioners, especially those in states where the governor’s are unwilling to pay their legitimate entitlements.
“With all sense of respect and responsibikity I call on the state governors as a matter of national emergency to immediately set up committee jointly with our state councils across the country to work out modalities on how state governors will liquidate all the outstanding entitlements that had accrued over the years.”
He said, “Even though I salute many state governors who are prompt in paying monthly pensions to our state pensioners, it is on record that majority of the state pensioners have not received their gratuity since retirement between five and years.
“More worrisome is that, almost all the state governors choose not to review the monthly pensions of their retirees as provided in section 173(3) and 210(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.