Osun Retired Teachers Cry For Help Over Unpaid Pension
NEWS DIGEST – Retired teachers in Osun State have called on the state government to pay their outstanding pension.
According to the pensioners, who spoke with this correspondent, four years after leaving service, they leave from hand to mouth.
Speaking on the situation, Mr. Isola Olagoke, a retired Headmaster in the state, said it has been hard to survive.
“I had thought I would have a restful retirement especially after ‘dutifully’ fulfilling pension terms,” he said.
Speaking to this reporter in almost tears, he noted that his life has been that of penury since retirement.
For him, living has been very hard and eating once in a day has been a dilemma.
“I left the service in 2016 and since then, it has been very hard for me to feed my family as we live in penury.
“We had demonstrated and reached out to the Osun state government but still it has become very impossible to get our pension,” Olagoke noted.
He said getting a lawyer maybe hard because feeding is an issue in the first place.
“We cannot afford a lawyer currently because of their fee demand,” he lamented.
He also stated that nobody had ever reached out to them.
“Nobody had ever reached out to us, you can imagine that when we protested in Ile-Ife, no government media house reported our plight. We have tried but nothing forth came,” Olagoke alleged.
Earlier, his daughter, Oluwaferanmi Ishola had written an open letter Governor Gboyega Oyetola, reminding him of promises made before election.
But the daughter noted that nothing came out of it despite sending the letter to top government personalities through their contacts, since reaching them is a dilemma.
Another retired pensioner, Amiola Sunday, who taught in government Community Elementary and Middle School in Irewole Local Government Area (LGA), revealed that he now beg to survive.
In a videod interview obtained by this reporter, Sunday noted that he retired as an Headmaster in 2016, and things have gone awry for him since then.
He said he has lost his sight, while hospital bills remain unpaid as he wallows in serious suffering.
“I left service in 2016 as Headmaster of Class 1 at Government Community Elementary/Middle School in Irewole,” he told this reporter.
He further said since he left, he has lost everything including his family.
“Since I left active service I have been left bedridden. Even my wife left me, my children are nowhere to be found after I lost my sight and could not afford hospital bill despite having pension with the government,” he added.
On what the state government has done, Sunday said nothing has been done by the government since then.
“Our leaders made efforts but nothing came out of it. I have nothing to eat, in fact to survive, I have to go begging at worship areas or schools where I am given money by those who pity my condition,” he lamented.
Sunday begs with the aid of a nine year-old-kid.
A member of the Teachers’ Association who spoke to this reporter, said efforts to get the government to pay has continued to hit brickwall as more members get frustrated by the day.
Osun Government React
Speaking to the Osun State Commissioner of Information and Civic Duties, Funke Egbemode, she noted that the state has been making efforts towards ensuring that the welfare of pensioners is prioritized.
According to her, the state government has been doing all within her reach to release funds for the retired government workers.
“We are working towards ensuring that every pensioner receives the due pension. As a matter of fact, the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola has ordered the release of another 350 million Naira for pensioners in the state,” she told this reporter.