Nairametricsǀ For many Nigerians, the concept of patriotism is foreign. And it really is no wonder why. From sports heroes to security men, Nigeria has always found a way of abandoning its heroes when they need it most. The example of Okorocha’s actions to pensioners, who have served the government for the majority of their productive years, in Imo State is a classic example.
It is not news that the country has been suffering harsh economic times since the recession set in last year. As such, all sectors, especially government, have been finding meeting up with their obligations very difficult. The same was true in Imo State and pensioners, many of whom do not have any other income, were owed 22 months pension arrears.
To find a solution to the problem, Vanguard reports that the State Government brought a plan to the pensioners to forfeit 12 months out of the 22 months owed in return for prompt payment of the 10 months arrears left. Graciously understanding the economic situation, the pensioners accepted the agreement.
But apparently, the state was not satisfied with depriving the pensioners of 55% of their entitlements. They wanted more. So, when the pensioners were getting set to celebrate Pensioners day, the state government had printed forms to be signed by each pensioner to accept only 40 percent payment of the 10 months arrears, cutting another 27% of the total due. The State wanted to rip pensioners of 82% of what they were owed.
In what other country in the world are senior countries treated as such? While other countries find ways of providing support for their senior citizens, Nigeria is where the government finds ways to cheat them, while the same politicians will not agree even a month arrears of their own salaries and even, their ever-bulging allowances. Where will the patriotism stem from them?