Friday, 12 October 2018

C'river retirees send SOS to Ayade, threaten legal action if not paid gratuity within one month

By Emma Unah

- HUNDREDS of retired workers in Cross River State on Wednesday sent a save – our –souls message to the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade appealing for payment of their gratuity to save then from imminent death and other challenges.

The workers who gathered at the Zoo Park Garden  said they are not a  trade union but senior citizens of the state who have served the state and retired after thirty five years but have not been paid their due entitlement.

They said several promises by the state governor that they would be paid have not been kept, making them feel they have become a laughing stock .

"Many of our members have died and others incapacitated and cannot come out here but all we are asking for is to paid our due because we need it to pay our children's fees and take care of our health needs" Mr Paul Idagwu  spokesman of the retirees  said 

He  said some of them who retired in 2013 are yet ti be paid  and the governor on the 1st of May during the Workers' Day assured that their  payment has been approved but since then they have not heard anything from the government.

"Do they want all us of to die and leave our sweat behind? They told us a committee has been set up to verify those qualified to be paid which is unnecessary because  we were made to go through screening in December  2017 even at that we  have not seen or heard anything from the said committee or government" Mr Idagwu stated. 

Mrs Veronica Ochala, another retiree said they are not in any way antagonisng the state government but they deserve to be treated as human beings by being given their dues. 
The retirees threaten to take the Goervement to court  if not paid within one month as many senior advocates have volunteered to offer them free services and the government should not be embarrassed if they did that.

"They said we are dead woods and the government has since not come out to say anything in that regard and silence means acceptance but some of us are still very strong an virile and should be given our dues even if they say we mean nothing to them".

Many of the retirees who travelled over three hundred  kilometres away from places like Obudu and Ogoja to be part of the appeal  to the government said the pensions which used to be prompt and regular has now become irregular and often in areas subjecting them to more pain and hardship.

"Payment of pension used to be done even before civil servants  are paid but these days we get paid several weeks after salaries are paid and that is just to subject us to more pain and hardship even as our gratuities are not paid", Robert Abang said