The 2011/2012 PENSIONERS behaviour is business-as-usual in a group run by some Osun political “godfathers,” or political elites who sponsor people to run down the government. I am saddened by the mad (talking of madness) campaign of calumny raging against Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Governor Rauf Aregbesola increased the amount being paid as pension by 500 per cent in 2011. The problem of regular payment of gratuity is not peculiar to Osun; and the government has shown its readiness to pay the gratuity as soon as the state’s finances improve. It is on record that this group of pensioners had, at one time or the other in the past, lied against the Government of the State of Osun; and in specific reference they had alleged that government collected a tranche of the Paris Club refund and diverted it, only for government to wait for a whole month before the actual release of the fund.
There has hardly been any month that his critics had spared him and his government even though no one can deny that he has from day one remained very active. Across the state, Aregbesola’s government has embarked on so many projects that even his critics are wondering how he got funding and energy to execute them. Ironically, even the execution of such projects and the policies that he initiated had remained sources of criticisms..
The campaign of falsehood has reached a crescendo of late, from the laughable to the distracting; and everything is being thrown at it, from religion to national security.
One moment, Ogbeni is bedridden and on life support, at another he is a Muslim bigot on a mission to Islamize Osun state if not Yorubaland.
The time has come for the people of Osun State to separate between hypocrisy and fake political group. Hypocrites have no place in leadership; whether in the religious, political, or cultural sectors.
The2011/2012 PENSIONERS claim they are on a mission to rescue Osun State. It is important that the people begin to show serious interest not only in the party in power but the oppositions too who are using 2011/2012 PENSIONERS.
This is because the strength of a nation’s democracy is in how vibrant the opposition is. For many discerning minds, the greatest threat to Osun’s democratic culture and obstacle to a rapid socio-economic development is not the actions or inactions of the party in power.
But Poor opposition tradition by using 2011/2012 PENSIONERSto protest during the death of Aregbesola’s mother and the only group of pensioners that introduced internally displaced camp in Nigeria.
The Hypocrisy of the 2011/2012 PENSIONERS is accusing the government of not paying2011/2012 PENSIONERS. It is easier said than done. Leadership is a practical thing. Leadership is by example. It is not enough to point accusing fingers. The leaders and financiers of the 2011/2012 PENSIONERS should tell the people of Osun their motive. This is one way they can shame the ruling party and win the confidence of the people of Osun.
In fact, political opposition is to democracy what spice is to stew.
The opposition is supposed to offer the electorates credible alternatives. Unfortunately, opposition parties in Osun have reduced itself to mere assemblage of alarmists and propaganda bearers. They are mostly known for raising false alarms about the government for not paying pension.
This is not the kind of political atmosphere that2011/2012 PENSIONERS in opposition politics thrive in modern democracies. It explains why the opposition has not been able to win in Osun; giving rise to anger and frustration on the part of its leaders and financiers.
The quality of 2011/2012 PENSIONERS language has become not only disgusting but inciting too. They have abandoned democracy to embrace insultocracy, a negative political culture that is based on insulting political leaders. A day hardly passes without them insulting the person of the governor all in the name of pensions because they have be paid.
Unable to manage their frustration, the colour of 2011/2012 PENSIONERSopposition has grown from hate to that of desperation. It was out of desperation for power that opposition politicians with opposing beliefs and ideologies
Apart from their penchant for raising false alarms, 2011/2012 PENSIONERS leaders are known for making threats before major elections. Making frivolous allegations in the press is one of them. In most cases, these alarms and allegations have turned out to be false about bailout funds. There appears to be exhaustion in the pensioners’ unlawful romance with opposition political party with the personality, gender and whatever politics being played out in Osun State. The pensioners have deliberately resorted to cheap propaganda, mischief and blackmail to cause division in Osun.
Involvement and participation of these older persons in the present politics against the government reflect the extent to which they aredisintegrated from Osun society. During the last one year, illegal political party of pensioners have emerged in Osun State.
However, they suffered complete defeat because they have allowed opposition party to use them against the government in Osun.2011/2012 PENSIONERS is being formed to assist in the interests of opposition in Osun. It is unrealistic for Osun pensioners to be used as a political party to criticize the government.
The group is becoming a destructive problem since there is no strong opposition in Osun. The pensioners are no longer interested in issues affecting their welfare but they involved in issues of political parties as it relates to internally displaced camp and others.
It is clear that the so-called 2011/2012 pensioners group are obvious liars who were hired to stage protest during Governor Aregbesola’s mother burial and few days to Osun West Senatorial bye election. Their incessant political protests are unbecoming of a retired civil servant who ought to be placed and respected as a senior citizen. We know the set of pensioners that are protesting, it is not the entire pensioners of the state..2011/2012 PENSIONERS are being used by political blackmailers.
Instead of engaging in dialogue with government on issues bothering their minds as to how their benefits would be paid, they resulted in militant approach known to be orchestrated by opposition; telling lies and character assassination capable of destabilizing the peace of the state. The 2011/2012 pensioners group is a fraction of those who retired from service in 2012 to avoid being part of the Contributory Pension Scheme. They are the set of pensioners that are protesting, it is not the entire pensioners of the state, they are being used by political blackmailers.
It is disturbing and unfortunate that the acclaimed 2011/2012 retires have chosen to be blackmailing the Osun State Government and persistently constituting nuisance on the streets of Osogbo to the detriment of the peace-loving citizens through sponsored protest on the payment of gratuity and not pension. I want to describe the protest by some pensioners in Osun state as politically motivated. It is connected with the forthcoming 7th year anniversary of Aregbesola’s government in Osun State, January 2018 local government election and September 2018 governorship election in Osun. These senior citizens have be hoodwinked by the antics of those who want to play on their minds and emotions to make them appear like tools in the hands of desperate political gladiators.
These pensioners have introduced politics into the estimated N1.75 trillion bailout funds disbursed to the states and local governments that were transferred in about four tranches to some states and local governments which were stressed by the inability to meet up with the payment of salaries.
As the people of Osun State warm up for 2018 electioneering campaigns for local government and governorship election, cheap propaganda by Osun pensioners thrives and makes waves in the print, electronic and social media. The Osun pensioners issue is more political than economic because of the eventual revelation. Osun state now ranks third behind Lagos and Rivers in the implementation of the contributory pension scheme in the country. Aregbesola had stated at the presentation of bond certificates to 159 retirees from local government and teaching service. The initial fear about the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state was not necessary.
Protests could have been logically conceived as a normal exercise of fundamental human rights if truly the government had not been living up to its responsibility. As responsible elderly men and women who have given their best to their states in their agile days, it is my belief they should be more circumspect in staging protests especially at times when such actions are capable of being interpreted to mean political orchestrations from those who are desperate to blackmail the Aregbesola administration for their selfish political gains.
It does not sound good at all that the protests by this group are taking place when the government is addressing the problem of Osun pensioners. Given the commitment already demonstrated by the state government, I know this action by this group is not supported by the majority of pensioners in the state. There is no doubt that mischief makers instigate pensioners into embarking on needless and stage-managed protests, in order to undermine efforts at resolving the pension issue.
Protests were orchestrated by some disgruntled elements and their political allies designed to undermine the effort of the state government to sustainably resolve the pension issue once and for all. Osun State government is not only committed to clearing the backlog of pension arrears but also instituting a new regime where retiree’s entitlements are not delayed. The protests were an orchestration by some disgruntled elements and their political allies designed to undermine the effort of the state government to sustainably resolve the pension issue once and for all.
It took Osun State some years to join contributory pension scheme after the law was passed in 2004 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Governor Aregbesola has worked tirelessly in the last three years to key into the scheme and breaks the barrier.
Governor Aregbesola has introduced Osun State into contributory pension scheme in line with his plan of governance activities which have typically focused on operational activities, driven by the desire to minimise the risks of administrative errors. The Governor has considered the changing legislative and regulatory environment which has also led to this scheme operational focus, taking up time that could otherwise be spent on more strategic areas. Governor Aregbesola has identified attributes of good pension scheme governance – largely derived from an examination of leading global pension schemes. Some of these attributes could be regarded as being within the reach of most funds – the core best-practice factors.
It is on record that Governor Aregbesola has broken the barrier of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 (“the Act”) which established a Contributory Pension Scheme for payment of retirement benefits of employees of the Public Service of the Federation, the Federal Capital Territory and the Private Sector. Although the Act came into effect for public sector employees on July 1, 2004, implementation of the Act has started in Osun State.