No fewer than 150 Ekiti State pensioners have died from various sicknesses following the non-payment of their 27 years’ pension and gratuity arrears by the state government.
The sad news was made known to journalists, Monday, in Akure by the Ekiti State College of Education, Ikere Ekiti Pensioners Association.
The Secretary of the association, Mr Mathew Popoola, who spoke on behalf of the pensioners, said the government abandoned them to die in poverty and hardship.
“It is a pity those pensioners died because they couldn’t care for themselves health-wise. Those still alive are not in any way better because the government are yet to pay their monthly pension,” he said.
He said that this is happening despite the judgement of the National Industrial Court, delivered by Hon. Justice K.D. Damulak compelling the government to pay the pension and gratuities of the pensioners.
“The state government has failed to honour the judgement,” he said.
He also added, “the order compelled the Ekiti state government to pay the pensioners the sum of N1.34b while the defendant shall pay to the claimants their outstanding benefits – pensions, gratitude and arrears of salaries – in 21 equal instalments of N50m monthly.”
He said they are living from hand to mouth and also depend on relatives and friends to survive.
According to him, “the situation has become unbearable for us; we have no option than to cry aloud for the world to know that we are suffering.”
He said except for the attempts made by Governor Fayemi during his first term in office that was never honoured; the government has no concrete plans to pay pensioners entitlement.
He, therefore, appealed to Governor Fayemi and the Ekiti State Government to honour the court judgement.
He said, “it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that every retiree from 1993 to 2020 receives all entitlements to avoid more deaths.”