By Lucky Isibor,
Edo State retirees under the aegis of 6-6-19 Association has thrown their weight behind the second term bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The retirees who are teachers retired on the 6th of June this year made their position known Thursday at the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, while on a solidarity rally in support of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s second term bid.
They said their rally became imperative because of the way some failed politicians who destroyed and looted the state in the past are jostling to come to the seat of power in the state and urged Edo people to join them to return Obaseki for a second term.
Chairman of the association, Mr. Wilfred Idemudia who spoke for the group said the rally was also to thank the governor for the prompt payment of their pension.
He said the 6-6-19 pensioners of primary school sector has resolved to give all the needed support to Obaseki in order for him to secure a second time ticket and win the 2020 governorship election in the state so that they will continue to enjoy prompt payment of their pension.
According to him, his members who were disengaged from the state public service on June 6, 2019 were immediately enrolled into the state pension payroll adding that payment of their pension has since commenced, stressing that “it was a clear departure from age long tradition.”
He noted that the leadership style of the governor has engendered unquantifiable growth and development in all spheres of the state’s economy particularly in the education sector.
“Permit me to note that the transformation in the primary school system through the EDOBEST programme, the revival of technical and vocational education, provision of modern learning infrastructure, the training and retraining of teachers amongst other initiatives which are being emulated by other states in Nigeria will no doubt help to create a formidable human capital for Edo State”.
He added that they were not surprised over the recent award bestowed on Obaseki by the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).
The group, however appealed to the governor for the harmonisation of their pension with others as they noted that primary school pensioners earn less than their counterparts “given the fact that our pension was prepared with the 2014 salary structure while others had theirs prepared with the consolidated 2016 salary structure.”
They requested for the governor’s intervention in the issue of the last promotion that was carried out before they left service as majority of the local government councils in the state have paid primary school teachers the arrears but Oredo and other few councils have not paid them.
Responding on behalf of the NUJ, chairman of the Edo State Council of NUJ, Sir Roland Osakue thanked the pensioners for their orderly conduct.
While urging them to remain orderly, he appealed that they ensure the rally is not hijacked by hoodlums just as he assured them that members of the union will use their various medium to inform the public of the position they’re canvassing.