Owing Pensioners Is Sin Against God, Man – Ozigbo
Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Nov.6 governorship election in Anambra, has condemned what he called “mindless non-payment of gratuities to civil servants that retired in Anambra State since 2017.”
Ozigbo in a Statement issued on Friday said it was unbelievable that after the efforts by the Peter Obi administration to clear over 35 billion Naira arrears of pension and gratuities owed retirees in the state since 1991, the present Government in Anambra State has allowed the debt to accumulate to over N5 billion because it refused to pay retirees their pension since 2017.
He described the action as heartless and wicked, wondering how those responsible feel whenever they read the stories of retirees dying due to lack of basic needs they use the gratuities to solve through the returns they get after investing it wisely.
“I am the son of a headmaster, I recall how my father invested his gratuity wisely after retirement and how the little investment contributed to welfare of our family. I am happy when Obi cleared the gratuities but saddened that they have started to accumulate under Gov. Willie Obiano.”
The candidate assured retirees of his capacity to stop the trend of depriving workers of their wages or rewards, saying it cannot be justified by any means.
He also said that as a Christian, he was aware that depriving workers of their wages was regarded as one of the sins crying to heaven for vengeance.
Ozigbo said that compassion for the people is one of the qualities that leaders should possess, especially now the country is witnessing the worst economic downturn.
“It is sad to see a Governor taking over a billion as monthly security vote, going on long convoy, junketing around the world in the name of holidays, sponsoring things that do not add to the growth and well-being of the state and yet cannot pay the gratuities of retirees.
Ozigbo assured that he would eventually change the trend for good in the fullness of time.