Pensioners in Osun State Tuesday alleged that Governor Rauf Aregbesola paid himself, his deputy and former political office holders a severance allowance of N50m each following their disengagement from service.
The chairman of 2011/2012 pensioners’s forum in the State, Mr. Omoniyi Ilesanmi, disclosed this to newsmen at a press conference in Osogbo, where he said the governor has displayed highest level of insensitivity by paying N50m each to those who served for just three years, while pensioners who served the state meritoriously for between 25 and 35 years were left to die without being paid their entitlements.
Mr. Ilesanmi further said that over 2,000 of their colleagues had died since the problem of non payment of gratuities and half modulated pensions started in July 2015.
“It is interesting to note that the Governor (Rauf Aregbesola), who could not pay the pensioners who served patriotically for between 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.
The pensioners asked Aregbesola to begin to “right all the wrong things” he had allegedly done before the expiration of his tenure, saying he would no longer be able to make any valid policy statements as from May 2018 when the state would have got a governor-elect.
Meanwhile, Aregbesola has said his administration is not insensitive to the plight of the pensioners, contrary to their claim.
Aregbesola explained that the government was incapacitated to pay the pensioners gratuities, which he put at about N5bn.
The governor stated this just as he called on the Federal Government to assist state governments across the country in raising bonds to pay the gratuities of state pensioners who voluntarily retired from the service.
Aregbesola made the call while playing host to the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Mrs. Sharon Ikiazor, who paid him a courtesy visit at the state secretariat.