The Osun State branch of the National Union of NIPOST Retirees has stated that it was due to the refusal of the Federal Government through the office of the Accountant-General and Postmaster-General of the Federation to pay arrears of their pension for more than 72 months that has culminated in the mass protest to disrupt postal activities embarked upon by their members nationwide.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER COMMUNITY NEWS in Osogbo, two leaders of the union, Pastor Lawrence Adeyemi Ademiju; Chairman of NIPOST Union of retirees and also the South-West Zonal Chairman of the union and Olatunji Adeeyo; the representative of the 2005/2006 retirees; it maintained that the protest was a peaceful one and that they would not back down until their demands were met.
They disclosed that though their gratuities were paid after their forceful retirement on December 31, 2006 by the Olusegun Obasanjo reforms of the civil service, their pension arrears were yet to be paid.
A situation, which according to Mr. Adeeyo, had led to the deaths of more than 300 of their members nationwide.
They complained that though the verification exercise for the South-West Zone was done in Akure in March, 2011, they were promised getting their pension arrears paid after two weeks.
It was this failure that forced the NIPOST retirees to commence on a warning strike in July.
“This time, we will not allow them to do business until we are notified from our banks that our money had been credited into our accounts”, they asserted.
They noted that the Federal Government was aware of their plight, because it was the government that severed their appointments.
The retirees lamented the failure of NIPOST management to fight on their behalf.
“They would have taken our problems to the Federal Government, particularly the Accountant-General, who was to pay our money, because the payment rests on his office squarely”.
Pastor Ademiju disclosed that both the Federal Government and NIPOST were responsible for the delay in the payment of their arrears.
He maintained, “the promises they made the last time was yet to be fulfilled, but nothing had been done so far.”
Despite the protests, the retirees promised to be orderly and not to destroy anything, but called off the possibility of a round-table dialogue until their accounts were credited with their pension arrears.