Thousands of pensioners in Ogun State have said despite their neglect by Governor Ibikunle Amosun, they will still mobilise their members and families for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the March 9 governorship election.
The senior citizens alleged that the Amosun administration had not paid their gratuities since 2013 while the payment of the pensions and entitlements had also remained largely irregular.
But they declared their commitment to work for the triumph of APC and its governorship candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, at the poll.
The pensioners, who spoke under the aegis of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), expressed their resolve when they hosted Abiodun at their monthly general meeting at the union’s secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The APC governorship hopeful was accompanied to by former Governor Olusegun Osoba.
The State NUP Chairman Kessington Oduwole said he knew Abiodun from childhood and that his father, a pensioner, was also well known to them.
Oduwole expressed the confidence that the APC candidate would address their demands, adding: “Dapo Abiodun is someone we have known from childhood. His parents are also pensioners and are well known to us. I want to assure you that all our wants and needs will be met when he becomes the governor.
“I hereby implore you all to rally round him and mobilise for him during the poll. I am promising you that he will not let us down. By the special grace of God, we shall accompany him to Oke Mosan on May 29 for his swearing-in as the governor.”
The union’s Secretary Bola Lawal said the failure of the Amosun administration to pay their gratuities since 2013, irregular payment of pensions and entitlements, lack of input in the current government and many more were among the challenges facing them.
He accused the governor of making promises to pensioners without fulfilling them.
Osoba expressed shock that the pensioners could be owed for so many months but assured them that he had brought to them a man God would use to bring succour to them.
He assured them that his candidate would run a responsible and responsive government when he becomes the governor.
Abiodun, an entrepreneur-turned-politician, hailed the pensioners for their rare show of love and support.
He said: “I want to appreciate our fathers and mothers who have worked tirelessly for the service of this state.
“My parents, who were both teachers, are also pensioners. The pensioners are informed electorate who have influence within their communities. I want to express gratitude for their support.
“As someone from the private sector, my aspiration was borne out of my desire to see our people being provided with quality governance they deserved.
“I am assuring you that all your demands will be addressed when I become governor and I also promise to run a listening and inclusive government.”