Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Abandoned, stranded, blind pensioner maltreated to point of urinating on himself in Calabar

Efio-Ita Nyok|23 May 2018 

Pensioners went through an unforgettable harrowing experience, Tuesday, at Cross River State Ministry of Finance as they filed up desperately for the usual monthly screening/verification exercise NegroidHaven has garnered. 

The horrible condition these senior citizens were subjected to yesterday compelled the Director General of Greater Calabar Development Authority, Mr Kingsley Ikpeme, to blare out in the following words, 'My Heart Bleeds!! Today in Calabar, Ongoing Screening of Pensioners, seeing how our parents, senior citizens who have served the State and Nation Meritoriously being subjected to untold hardship,...' 

NegroidHaven has gathered that the situation at the verification venue is so terrible such that there's no provision for medical personnel, managing the number of retirees to be admitted in the screening hall to allow for proper ventilation, increasing the number of auditors to fast track the process, and make sure there is availability of welfare services. 

Besides, questions have arose querying why these senior citizens should be screened on a monthly basis and why they should even be screened in Calabar, the state capital. Why don't we screen them on a quarterly basis? And why can't we screen them at their respective Local Government Areas? 

Commenting, an eyewitness by name Cyril Bassey said thus: 'I was there personally from morning till 4PM, there is another man who was abandoned beside Hope Wadell, blind and can not walk. As a result he got his trouser wet with urine. The State has punished this old folks too much. Its really bad'.

One Ajah Egwu also added, 'My opinion is, verification should not be done monthly, it can be done quarterly, by the way, why not take it to their local government headquarters?' 

A pensioner, namely, Augustine Ogar Agbaragba said, 'I am replying to this at exactly 2:20am, 23-05-2018. How prompt is the payment of April 2018 pension, some of us have not been paid and got alert for pension on the18th of May???' 

It is disheartening to say the least that after working patriotically for 35 years or thereabouts, you are treated with disdain. 

It should be emphasised that there is obviously no minutest sense of innovation in the management of the Pensioners in the state: especially in respect of welfare, effectiveness and prompt payment of pension. 

It seems to me that the managers of the pension scheme in the state are keen to knowing which pensioner is no more so that they can benefit immensely and immediately. 

I am calling on the state government to as a matter of urgency fix this challenge. The Nigerian Union of Pensioners should rise and fix the palava too. Where's organised Labour? Is there recent brief to  only endorse the governor!? 

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is the Blogger-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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