Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the forth-coming gubernatorial election in Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, has promised to make life better for the pensioners if he emerges the governor of the state after the poll.
Oyetola, who is the Chief of Staff to Governor Rauf Aregbesola, gave the promise, in Osogbo, the state capital, hosting the Triangular Group of the Pensioners who have declared support in voting for him during the poll.
While addressing them, Oyetola said that no administration in the history of the state had demonstrated serious commitment to the welfare of pensioners and workers like the administration of Governor Aregbesola.
The APC governorship candidate said his administration would continue to respect the senior citizens and prioritise their welfare if he emerged victorious in the election.
While responding to the controversy over pension and gratuity in the state, particularly the recent three-day protest embarked upon by the pensioners to press home their demand for the payment of arrears of their pensions and gratuities, Oyetola said the whole issue shall be resolved amicably by fulfilling their yearnings during his administration.
He, however, pointed out that the state government had been paying monthly pension regularly alongside workers’ salary but only defaulting in gratuity.
He said: “I appreciate your support and endorsement. I am so delighted. What you have done emboldens me. Despite the blackmails and protests over pension, the respected senior citizens recognised the need for continuity and steady development in the state.
“We have set a good standard in governance and we must never allow the beast of yesteryears to reverse the progress.
“Aregbesola’s administration values and recognises pensioners as senior citizens who have diligently served the state. He has been doing his best to better the lot of the workers in the state.
“It is not true that we are not paying monthly pension. Pensioners are getting their monthly pensioners whenever we pay workers’ salary. It is not true that the government is not paying pension.
“As we all know, when we came in 2010, the highest any government released for the payment of gratuity is N50 million and Aregbesola administration increased it to N500 million before the country started encountering financial crisis in 2014.
“But we thank God that things are now getting better. We have been relating before and I am assuring you that pensioners will be secured under my leadership,” Oyetola said.
Earlier in his address, Chairman of Triangular Pensioners, Rotimi Adelugba, said the pensioners decided to pitch their tent with Oyetola for continuity of good governance in the state.
He urged him to ensure that the outstanding gratuity and pension arrears were paid if he became the governor.
“As pensioners and stakeholders in the Osun State Government, we have a strong confidence in the capacity and ability of Oyetola to pilot the affairs of the state.
“We promise you our support in the September governorship election and we are so confident of victory. Our interest is prompt payment of our entitlements and we urge you not to let us down,” Adelugba said.