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Pensioners threaten withdrawal of vote at 2015 elections

01 April 2014, 16:11

Enugu - The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has threatened to mobilise its members across the country against the 2015 general elections over neglect by governments at all levels.

The National President of the union, Abel Afolayan, issued the threat in Enugu on Monday while briefing newsmen.

Afolayan who was represented by the South East National Vice President of the union, Dr Emeka Onwumere, listed their grievances to include non-payment of outstanding arrears of pensions and gratuities to federal and state pensioners.

He also counted the non-payment of outstanding 33 per cent pension increment and its arrears which had been paid to military pensioners as well as the nonchalant attitude toward pensioners’ welfare by state governments.

The president also listed non-harmonisation of pensions, problems associated with contributory pension’s scheme, verification, fraud and non-payment of gratuities and arrears to deceased pensioners as part of their agitation.

"Pensioners have observed that our problems across the country have been ignored by the concerned government agencies and functionaries contrary to the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan to the presidential task force on pensioners’ grievances.

"As a result, we will mobilise our multi-million members across the country to deliberate seriously on how to vote during the 2015 elections.

"The government should realise that pensioners in Nigeria form a large voting bloc and to neglect them is not in their best interest.

"Also, our exclusion from the ongoing national conference and subjection of pensioners to long drawn budgetary debates at the federal and state levels are some of our grievances,’’ he said.

He warned that the union would involve the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to stage protests.

Afolayan said it would not be in the interest of the unity, peace and development of the country if its grievances were not addressed.

The president said that the press briefing was held simultaneously in the six geo political zones of the country.

 - NAN

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