The Postmaster General of the Federation, Alh Mori- Baba has come under attack as NIPOST pensioners yesterday demanded his sack. Also, Kwara State chapter have kept the premises under lock for 10 days running.
The pensioners demanded his sack following alleged withholding of accumulated funds meant to pay their pension and gratuities spanning over seven years, pensioners of the Nigeria Postal Service, NIPOST, yesterday called for immediate sack of Alhaji Mori-Baba, the nation’s Post-master General.
The pensioners who joined their colleagues commenced a nationwide strike action in all parts of the country, including the Edo State capital, yesterday appealed to the federal government and the leadership of the National Assembly to immediately intervene on the issue and prevail on the Post-master General to ensure that their pain is addressed with immediate effect.
“We are appealing to the National Assembly and the federal government to come to our aid and intervene. We don’t know what the accountant general and the post master general have done with our money” vowing that “The protest will continue until we get bank alert”.
The pensioners who barricaded the main entrance to the Edo State Area Territory office of the NIPOST in Benin City carried various placards with such inscriptions as: “President Goodluck Jonathan, Save our Souls”, “ Post- master General , Pay us our 6 years entitlement, we have lost over 100 souls nationwide” and “Minister of Communications, Please intervene and save us from untold hardship.”
Speaking with newsmen, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Comrade Clement Ojo said ‘’the management of NIPOST has refused to pay us all our benefits, shot- payments, gratuities and pension for about seven years now, since 2005.”
“Fourteen days ultimatum was issued to the management after which another seven days extension was given, they eventually called for dialogue on the 6th of December and promised to pay two months out of the sixteen months they are owing, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006 pensioners to enable us celebrate the Christmas.”
He said that though the deadline has expired, “they did not even care to pay, now our children can no longer go to school, no money to pay fees, our pensioners have been driven out from their different houses because no money to buy drugs while some are on admission in various hospitals helpless.”
The NIPOST pensioners had commenced the indefinite nationwide strike action yesterday
…as Kwara face off deepens
and threatened to continue with the industrial action until their demands are met.
In a related development, the Kwara State chapter has held the premises under lock and key for 10 days over alleged unpaid 20 months salaries and arrears while activities remain paralysed.
Nigerian Pilot’s checks at the early hour of yesterday revealed that nothing was being done to the plight of the aggrieved workers who have decided to embark on an industrial action to further drive-home their demands.
It could be recalled that on Thursday 27 December 2012, NIPOST workers who were eventually disappointed in their hope to get paid before Christmas celebration resolved to lock-up the office complex ahead of New Year 2013.
Our correspondent in Ilorin gathered that at about 8am yesterday, many pensioners of NIPOST had gathered in front of General Post Office Ilorin with different inscriptions challenging the Accountant General of Federation to pay them their entitlements.
The inscriptions reads; “NIPOST Management, No payment, No work throughout the federation until our 20 months is paid”, “you denied us from celebrating the yuletide with our families; this is totally uncalled for. You are killing us, inhuman and totally contagious” among others.
While reacting on the issue, the chairman of the Union in the state, Alhaji Muhammed Jiddah said the pensioners would not go back until their arrears were paid.
According to him, “NIPOST management owes us 20 months salaries and 13 months arrears. They promised us at the beginning of last year, 2012, that they would not owe us. They told us that by the end of September they would settle us.
“But to our dismay, they have not responded. No money for Christmas, no money for New Year. Since this is the only language they understand, that is why we embarked on this protest.”
Jiddah added that about 165 pensioners in the state were dying because their entitlements were seized, stressing that if there was no directive from the national headquarters of NUP to shelve the protest, they would continue with the agitation.
The chairman therefore appealed to both the accountant general of the federation and the minister of communications to release fund, lamenting that many pensioners have died due to poor health while other are still struggling for survival.