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Retirees protest unpaid entitlements in Osun

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By Gbenga Olarinoye
SOGBO—RETIRED  civil servants in the employment of the Osun State government, yesterday, trooped in the major streets of Osogbo, in Osun State to protest the non- payment of their gratuities, arrears and other outstanding debts owed them by the state government.

Bola Ige House, Osun . Governor’s House

The retirees, armed with placards with different inscriptions such as: ‘Aregbesola, pay us our entitlements’, ‘Denying us our entitlements is an act of wickedness and callousness’, claimed that they have lost many of their members to death as a result of their  inability to have access to medical care.

But in a swift reaction by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lani Baderinwa described the retirees as blackmailers.

The retirees had claimed that “Many of our members have died untimely due to inability to afford to buy drugs meant to treat their ailments and many others, the retired workers vowed to stage the protest for three days whether the government could come to their aid.”

Chairman of the retirees, Mr. Ganiyu Olasunkanmi Salawu said: “The situation in which the workers find themselves is a situation that has claimed the lives of many workers, a situation that has subjected  nearly all workers to available illness, a situation that has put all workers into high level of indebtedness, a situation that has enveloped all workers with anxiety.

“With all these, the entire workforce don’t know what step to take, they   cannot think out what to do, they keep their fingers crossed expecting miracles from the so-called  labour  leaders who have mortgaged their welfare.”

They’re blackmailers  — Osun govt

In his reaction, the  state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Baderinwa said:  “The State Government of Osun is very committed to the payment of pension and gratuity of its retired workers. This has always been demonstrated in every occasion where the government will go out of its way to make sure that both the active and inactive workers are paid their entitlements in spite of the paucity of fund.

“No genuine retired workers in the state will go out to protest on the lies and the political statement they call non-payment of pension and gratuity. Any pensioner that does that should be checked, he or she might be a paid mischief maker and blackmailer.”

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