By Nofisat Adeoye and Toba Adedeji
The Commissioner for Information in the State of Osun, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, has described the Forum of 2011/2012 Pensioners in the state as politicians who were in the habit of blackmailing the governor.
This is as the forum of 2011/2012 retirees in Osun protested on Wednesday imploring Governor Rauf Aregbesola to pay their outstanding pensions and gratuity.
The pensioners had took to the streets of Osogbo, the state capital to register their grievances marched through Ayetoro area to the popular Olaiya junction, with different inscriptions.
Addressing journalists separately, leaders of the forum including Comrade Omoniyi Ilesanmi, Comrade Sola Olojede and Comrade Yemi Lawal lamented that the modulated salary structure instituted by the state since 2015 had been affecting their members.
They urged the state government to expedite action on the payment of their entitlements as the situation is affecting their members in the long run.
Baderinwa said the Government has always been committed to seeking the welfare of pensioners and the entire workforce of the state.
He stressed that, “As a government, we categorically state that government has paid workers and pensioner up to date with the modulated structure agreed upon by the government and the labour unions since 2015.
“Government does not owe any worker or pensioner based on the modulated payment scheme as the pensioners have alleged.
“We wish to put it on record that (Governor Rauf) Aregbesola increased the amount being paid as pension by 500 per cent in 2011. The nonpayment 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 to have a whole month wait for the actual release of the fund.”
The government said since its inception, it has worked so hard to ensure that workers and senior citizens are paid on time before the precarious economic situation that affected the whole country.