The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), SouthWest zone, on Thursday, directed all its members not to vote for any governor or government that is owing pensioners their entitlements in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The directive was part of the resolutions made at the end of the quarterly meeting of the union in the zone, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
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The body disclosed that the accumulation of pension funds being owed by Nigerian governors “are in the region of a trillion naira.”
The union also directed its members in the zone to embark on protests over the non-implementation of consequential adjustment in pensions arising from the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage.
The meeting was attended by chairmen and secretaries of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti states chapter of the union.
Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NUP, SouthWest zone, Olusegun Abatan, lamented that the governors in the zone were owing pensioners their gratuities and pensions running into trillions of nairas.
“We want to advise our members to please shine their eyes and should not be carried away by the sentiment of the politicians. We will not succumb to the pittance the politicians are going to give us.
“The meeting has decided that pensioners in the SouthWest would have to have a rethink on who they will give their votes to.
“And as such, the meeting has decided that pensioners in the SouthWest should not vote governors and governments that are owing them their entitlements, notably gratuities and pensions.
“What is progressive and democratic in a government that is owing pensioners a humongous amount of money running into billions of naira?” he said.
Abatan urged members not to mistake the directive for an election boycott, stressing: “We are not saying that we are going to boycott the election, we are not saying that we are not going to vote, but what we are saying is that pensioners should not vote those governors and governments that are owing them.
“The implication of what we are saying is that we are going to have a trial of another government.
“This is not a matter of disenfranchisement, should we vote for somebody who is owing so that he can continue to impoverish us?”