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NUP protest non-inclusion in wage committee, threaten to match naked

The Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, on Thursday, February 8, raised concerns over the insignificant wages its members received, leading to an increase in deaths of members around the country. President of the union, Comrade Godwin Abumisi, lamented that due to the economic downturn in the country, pensioners can no longer afford to feed.

While lamenting the non-inclusion of pensioners in the minimum wage tripartite committee, Abumisi said pensioners in some states earn as little as N450 as a monthly pension. 

He said the government is selfish and does not think of the poor masses but itself, hence the meagre wage members receive, which has caused them to lose about 1500 members nationwide.

“Let me say this: we have casualties every day. The casualties arising from the maltreatment of pension­ers in Nigeria have now gone into 1,500. About last week, we travelled to Enugu to bury one of the staff members. We know that he perished out of hunger. It is in our power to distribute food to pensioners in Nigeria; we do not have the resources.

“In Nigeria, the government doesn’t think about the poor people. They only think about themselves otherwise; how can a pensioner in Enugu re­ceive as low as N450?” We have been saying this, but it seemed as if we are crying wolf, but it is a reality,” he said.

Abumisi warned that if they were not included in the committee, he would lead the union members to protest naked in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.   

“I want to say it clear: I am going to lead Ni­gerian pensioners naked. I mean naked. When we go­ing to protest, we will go naked on the streets. Write down this so that the world will see it. Nigerian pension­ers are going to demonstrate naked. If they like, let them arrest us. We have reached a situation where we can now say we are mad.”

He said they were hopeful that as the legally recognised body for civil and para-military pensioners, they would be included in the Minimum Wage Tripartite Committee constituted by the federal government to make a case for them. 

“More so, we feel that the pensioners’ union should be carried along during nego­tiations on matters that bother their members. Unfortunately, and regret­tably too, our hope of being represented in the commit­tee was dashed as the name of NUP was visibly omitted from the membership list.

“And this is why we are here today to protest and register our displeasure and dissatisfaction with the constitution of the commit­tee which has undermined the relevance and authority of the union (NUP), using the instrumentality of the press,” he said.

NUP lamented that they had been left out of wage review negotiations in the past, forcing them to struggle for an upward review for its members. 

 

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