Retirees across the country have called on federal and state governments to stop treating seniors like spare tires.
While worrying about the mistreatment of them, they urged all three levels of government to formulate policies that would address the range of challenges they face.
Nigerian Union of Retirees (NUP) National President Godwin Abumisi, who spoke at the 2021 Retirees Day celebration in Abuja over the weekend, urged the National Assembly to include punishment in the constitution which would oblige governors to pay pensions when due.
Abumisi, who lamented that governors he described as “emperors” made life unbearable for retirees, called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to prioritize issues of gratuity and other rights.
He said: “It will never again be said that Nigerian retirees are spare tires and that they are old enough to die. We will take our place of pride in this country and we will stand firm in claiming our rights with the government of this nation that we have used our youthful strength to serve. Together, in unity, we will achieve our goals.
“Our main challenges have been with state governments, many of which have become emperors in their various states. They rule with an iron fist in a democratic framework like ours.
“Many of them have collapsed the instruments of governance under their palms, for the all-powerful one-man governor is the judiciary, legislature and executive together.
“I want to stress that the payment of a monthly pension to retirees is a right and not a privilege. Unfortunately, the constitution does not prescribe any punishment for such misguided governors who disdainfully trained retirees. “
Meanwhile, members of the Federal Public Service Retirees Directorate (FCSPB) called on the federal government to stop paying its entitlements through the (NUP), as they were greatly harmed by the latter.
The union also called on the government to immediately review the pension, which it said unconstitutionally delayed the review that should have been carried out in 2015 and 2020 respectively.