Governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo has condemned what he called “mindless” non-payment of gratuities to retired civil servants in the State since 2017.
Ozigbo, in a statement said it was unbelievable that after efforts by the Peter Obi administration to clear over N35 billion arrears of pension and gratuities owed retirees in the State since 1991, the present Government has allowed the debt to accumulate to over N5 billion by its refusal to pay retirees their pension.
He described the act as heartless and wicked, wondering how those responsible feel whenever they read stories of retirees dying due to lack of basic needs they often use the gratuities to solve through the returns they get after investing it wisely.
He said, ‘I am the son of a headmaster, I recall how my father invested his gratuity wisely after retirement and how the little investment contributed to welfare of our family. I am happy when Obi cleared the gratuities but saddened that they have started to accumulate under Gov. Willie Obiano.”
Assuring retirees of his capacity to stop the trend, he said that depriving workers of their wages or rewards cannot be justified by any means.
“As a Christian, I’m aware that depriving workers of their wages is regarded as one of the sins crying to heaven for vengeance,” he added
According to Ozigbo, compassion for the people remained one of the qualities that leaders should possess, especially now the country was witnessing the worst economic downturn.
The PDP candidate assured that he would eventually change the trend for good in the fullness of time.
“It is sad to see a Governor taking over a billion as monthly security vote, going on long convoy, junketing around the world in the name of holidays, sponsoring things that do not add to the growth and well-being of the state and yet cannot pay the gratuities of retirees,” he stressed.