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Imo Pensioners Go Spiritual Over non-payment Of Benefits Backlog

By Ignatius Okpara, Owerri

IMO, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Scores of pensioners in Imo state, South East Nigeria, have gone spiritual, over the non-payment of their pensions and gratuities by the state government.

The senior citizens, as they are otherwise called had on Thursday staged a prayer session to seek God’s intervention on the issue.

According to them, the prayer exercise is “for God to intervene and rescue us from penury, poor health and avoidable death, following the non-payment of our pensions and gratuities by the state government.

The pensioners, who gathered at Ezinihitte Mbaise council Area of the state, decried the development, which has thrown them into untold hardship and sufferings.

They said the situation has equally led to the untimely death of dozens of their colleagues.

The prayer session was officiated by a Catholic Priest, Monsignor Paul Amakiri
and the Ezinihitte Branch Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Dr. Christopher Nwachukwu.

Some of the pensioners who spoke during the spiritual exercise noted that their  colleagues were facing imminent death occasioned by poverty, hunger as well as lack of money to feed and take care of their medical bills.

They however, passionately appealed to the State Governor, Owelle, Rochas Okorocha, to address their plight, adding that he should also remember that pensioners used their youthful energies to serve the state and Nigeria.

In his speech, the NUP Chairman, Dr. Nwachukwu, urged his colleagues to continue with the prayers, so as to seek God’s sympathy and intervention.

He said: “We have really suffered untold hardship, hunger, disease and death, following the refusal and neglect of government, to pay our entitlements regularly.

“We are no longer strong to carry placards”, Nwachukwu stated.

But reacting to the pensioners demand, in Owerri, Governor Okorocha stated that “payment of pensions and collection of internally generated revenue” IGR, remains his biggest problems in the state, appealing to the retirees to exercise some patient with his administration.

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