Retirees in Anambra State have rejected the annual Christmas bags of rice given to them by the state governor, Willie Obiano, and have demanded payment of their retirement benefits instead.
They asked the governor to stop deceiving them with such gift, describing the bags of Rice given to them every Christmas as a “Greek gift”.
The state Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Dr Anthony Ugozor, observed during a meeting with pensioners in Onitsha North Local Government Secretariat on Wednesday that the last gratuities were paid in 2017.
Ugozor added that the leadership of the pensioners was told that there was no instruction to pay gratuities to retired workers.
He said, “If pension is reviewed as and when due and harmonisation done as it should be done and arrears paid when it is supposed to be paid and we are not given rice, we will be more comfortable because we will have enough money to buy the type of rice we want and still have enough money to attend to other needs.
“It is unfortunate that once somebody retires in Nigeria, he is regarded as a dead wood because we can neither embark on strike, nor give government an ultimatum. The only thing we can do is to go on hunger strike, which is even detrimental to our health.”