Hundreds of pensioners, a few days ago gathered at the headquarters of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, in Abuja and alleged abandonment and neglect by the Federal Government and the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, as Nigeria struggles to contain the rampaging pandemic.
They gathered to benefit from the meagre palliatives the national leadership of NUP, provided for them.
According to the pensioners, they had been neglected by the government and the PTF despite being the most vulnerable in society.
General Secretary of NUP Elder Actor Zal lamented that its members across the country have been neglected by the Federal Government and the PTF in the distribution of palliatives and other relief materials to the vulnerable citizens to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
According to him, This neglect is despite the fact that the union has written to the PTF on the need to take special care of the pensioners at this critical time and make use of the NUP national headquarter as the channel of distribution to get to their members and the real elderly people.
Elder Zal, explained that in NUP effort to provide succour to the helplessly vulnerable pensioners, the NUP under the leadership of Dr. Abel Afolayan came up with the palliatives, informing that the palliatives which include food items, money, and Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, were distributed to the vulnerable members to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
“With this token, we believe that the Union has been able to reach out to its members in this critical time in the history of our nation,” he said
One of the sectoral leaders of the pensioners, who spoke on the gesture of the Union, under the leadership of its National President, Dr. Abel Afolayan, lamented their pathetic condition and called on the government to pay their pensions promptly. They also called on the PTF to consider them in the palliatives being distributed to the vulnerable citizens.
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The National Chairman, Federal Civil Service Pensioners, Omezi Sunday, who spoke on their plights said: “We commend the National leadership of NUP for this kind gesture. We are appealing to the PTF that they should assist the National Union of Pensioners because we are vulnerable so that pensioners all over the country can get this palliative.”
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