Politics

Anambra election: It is evil to owe pensioners – PDP candidate

Valentine Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer for the Anambra 2021 election

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, has condemned what he called “mindless non-payment of gratuities to civil servants that retired in Anambra State since 2017.”

In a statement made available yesterday, Ozigbo said it was unbelievable that after the efforts by the Peter Obi administration to clear over N35 billion arrears of pension and gratuities owed retirees in Anambra State since 1991, that the present government in Anambra State has allowed the debt to start accumulating to over N5 billion again by its refusal 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 often use the gratuities to solve through the returns they get after investing it wisely.

In Ozigbo’s words: ‘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 the welfare of our family. I am happy when Obi cleared the gratuities but saddened that they have started to accumulate under Governor Willie Obiano.”

Assuring retirees of his capacity to stop the trend, he said that depriving workers of their wages or rewards 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.

The PDP candidate for the November 9 governorship candidate said that compassion for the people was 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 a 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 fullest of time.

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