AGAIN, OLAMIDE OLAOYE LEADS PROTEST IN OSUN
… As Retirees create displaced pensioners’ camp in Osogbo
Retirees in Osun State have set up a camp for some members, who they refer to as Internally Displaced Pensioners in the state.
The retirees, led by the Chairman of Forum of 2011/2012 Retirees of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr. Omoniyi Ilesanmi, on Monday set up the camp very close to the Freedom Park in Osogbo.
Over 200 retirees including some of them, who could hardly walk, are present at the camp which is being watched closely by about 30 armed policemen.
The pensioners sat under the canopies erected at the camp and their leaders served them rice while bags of rice were also brought to be distributed to them.
Ilesanmi said hundreds of pensioners had died due to severe hunger caused by lack of money , adding that some died because they could not afford to treat themselves because the state government was owing them nine months pension arrears.
He said, “We therefore request the Federal Government to set up a high power investigative committee to probe how the latest funds ( overdeduction on Paris Club loan) was utilised.”
A retired Judge of Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede, who was present at the camp, said the care for the aged was one of the responsibilities of the government.
You will recall that Oloyede, in 2015, asked the state House of Assembly to impeach Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, for failing to pay workers’ salaries and pensions.
Oloyede, who is now leading a non-governmental organisation known as Virtues Unlimited Restoration Justice Initiative, organised free medical screening for the pensioners at the venue and urged them to take their health serious.
One of the leaders of the pensioners, Mr. Yemi Lawal, said the governor only spent N4.6bn out of over N14.5bn the state got as refund from the Paris Club Loan deductions.
He stated that the wage bill of the state when salaries of workers, political office holders and pensions were paid in full was N2.3bn but the governor had been paying them half salaries since July 2015.
Meanwhile, the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, last Tuesday said he spent N14.5bn to pay salaries and pensions when he received the state’s share of the refund of Paris Club loan deductions.