Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has appealed to the state and federal governments to consider its members in the various palliative gestures embarked upon to cushion the effects of the nationwide lockdowns to check the spread of COVID-19.
This was contained in a statement signed by the chairman of the union Elder Ayo Kumapayi and the secretary, Azeez Agbaje.
The statement explains that the request for relief for pensioners is necessary following the extension of the lockdown by two weeks.
According to the statement, the lockdown has subjected many pensioners to hunger and untold hardships, resulting in health complications and even deaths.
The statement reads:
“While we commend our government for their efforts to cushion the effects of this pandemic on the vulnerable citizens, it is important to call their attention to the plight of our members.
“We have recorded several deaths of our members since this lockdown began; most of them, especially from seventy years and above, are now in critical condition due to hunger.
“The lockdown is a double jeopardy on our members because some of them were still being owed pension by government while their children who were supposed to provide for their food are also trapped in the locked down.
“In addition, many good Samaritans have also deserted our members based on the directives of government on the need for people to avoid contact with the aged for now.
“It is very important that our government reach out to our members through the route used for the payment of their pension and allowances or pass through the union so as to save them from untimely death.
“The statement added that the cash transfer scheme of the Federal government ought to have captured pensioners as they are among the vulnerable persons in the society based on their age and health
“We are begging our government, corporate bodies and individuals to save our souls and reach out to our members.”