RETIREES in Anambra State have threatened to go on hunger strike if the state fails to pay their gratuities.
According to them, the government owes them four years’ arrears. They lamented that the situation was killing them slowly.
Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) Anthony Ugozor said the retirees would meet early next year to take a decision on the matter.
He said: “We don’t know what again to do. We are longer in active service and so the government is treating our matter with levity because it knows we can no longer embark on industrial dispute.
“We may consider hunger strike after our meeting. The only problem we may have is whether it will be detrimental to our health at our age. But members will decide that at our meeting.
“I got my December pension before Christmas. We thank Governor Willie Obiano for that; he pays pension regularly.
“But pension is not all that we need. We are dying in piecemeal; the governor should pay our gratuities. That was what I said a few days ago that attracted unfair comments against me from government’s officials. “They were not comfortable with my comment but what I said was the truth. There are arrears of four years of gratuities because payment stopped in 2017. No retiree from 2017,2018,2019,2020 has gotten gratuity.
“Harmonisation of pension has not been done since 2010, despite the fact that we’re contacting with government. We’ve been discussing with them; writing to them; even at official state functions, I would include such demands in my official addresses.
“Paying pension as and when due will not stop me from talking about other entitlements of pensioners which the governor is not paying