Retirees of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic in Owo, Ondo State have cried out for help over 15 years unpaid pensions and gratuities. The retirees, in a Save Our Soul message on their behalf by Amos Akinyemi, said it was disheartening that after serving meritoriously, they had been left without their dues.
The Save Our Soul (SOS) message reads:
It is pertinent to bring to the notice of all the citizens of our dear state, the untold hardship that we, the retirees and pensioners of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo is currently passing through, which is brought about by non payment of our terminal benefits, gratuity, and monthly pension over the years. Permit me to clearly situate the issues one after the other for clarity, as follows:
Non payment of our gratuity for those of us that have retired as far back as 13-15 years ago! Whereas, we put in thirty five years in service of the Polytechnic and retired thereafter, many years afterward, we are left, sadly, without payment of our gratuity that we are supposed to be paid through which we are to fashion out and eke out new means of livelihood for ourselves and our families. It is sad that having retired 13-15 years ago, regrettably, we have not been paid our gratuity. All appeals to the management of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic to get us paid have proved abortive. Appeal to the governing council of the institution to Wade into our issue has equally not yielded any fruitful results!
It’s appalling and unheard of that retiring after putting in 35 years in service, with many of us dying on daily basis due to old age and diseases associated with it, the stipend being paid us as pension is not paid in full again! We only receive half of what we ought to receive as monthly pension for months now! From the beginning of this year we have been receiving only half of our monthly pension! Only God knows the reason why this is so. It is worth mentioning that very many of us receive monthly pension that is not up to fifty thousand naira when paid in full. Now that we receive half monthly payment, untold hardship is brought upon us and our families.
It is pertinent to trace the origin of the problem. The problem started in early year 2000s when the part of monthly subvention given to Polytechnic by government that is supposed to be set aside statutorily for payment of gratuity was flagrantly abused and not adhered to by the management of the polytechnic. Subsequent administrations have been following suit and the misappropriation of polytechnic resources continue since then. Note that whereas, gratuity component of the monthly subvention given to the poly by the state government is 20 percent, which is supposed to be set aside to meet commitment for payment of gratuity to the retirees as they are pulling out of the system, the management of the polytechnic have been flagrantly disregarding this statutory provisions, instead they threw caution to the wind and started employing their cronies into the system without regard to vacancy and critical need; misappropriation of poly resources became the norm, the result is the inability to meet the financial obligations as it relates to payment of gratuity of retirees over the years.
I do not intend to get you bored with details of this maladministration and misappropriation of poly resources, for this have been subject of presentations in form of memoranda to visitation panels set up to look into the administration and finances of the polytechnic. There have been two of such in between these years under reference, 13-15 years that the problem started, former Governor (Olusegun) Mimiko set up one of the visitation panels, Governor (Rotimi) Akerodolu set up another one two years ago. In each of them, issues pertaining to non payment of gratuity of retirees were raised among other issues, yet government left the issue unresolved just like many others. The visitation panels were sheer wastage of state resources as no concrete thing arise therefrom. The result is that maladministration and misappropriation of funds continues unabated in the institution, the public continues to be inundated with such unpalatable news on daily basis.
Just as a line in our national anthem states, our heroes past must not be in vain, Engrs Omosule, Alakuro, Adegbulugbe, Adepetu, (aka Ayeomodu) Mr. Agbeti, Daramola (aka Daramson), Pastor Fola Tonteh, Mr. J.K Ajayi, Okijiola, Yinka Adeparusi, Arc. Adeyemi, Mr. Rufus Ayegbusi (aka ARA), Ogunbodede (aka Marseille), Mr. Akindahunsi, Mr. Taiwo Akinyemi and many other heroes of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic have all gone to great beyond without receiving their entitlements. The sad story is that very many of our senior citizens, retirees of poly Owo died of one ailment or the other for lack of funds to foot their medical bills when they were afflicted with terminal and old age related diseases. Hundreds of our colleagues died in Federal medical centre Owo, state specialist hospital Akure and other hospitals in neighbouring towns and cities.
The blood of these our colleagues, senior citizens of the state are on their murderers, the management of the polytechnic, governing council of the polytechnic over the years, who partook in mismanagement and plundering of the resources of the institution; those who got the place over staffed, filled the place with their cronies in disregard of the statues guiding staffing of government establishments, Mr. Ogundowole, Profs Ajibefun, Fapetu, Drs Alaba Ojomo, Olaoye (aka Ayeole), Banji Alabi, the incubent chairman of council. Note that Prof Ajibefun paid himself severance gratuity of about 59 million naira for serving Polytechnic for only five years, when very many others who served for thirty five years were not paid a dime from their gratuity; such is the greed of man and wickedness!
That the governor is invited to look into the issue of the poly vis-a-vis issue of the retirees and direct that the gratuity owed retirees of the poly be paid without further delay. That the governor be magnanimous to extend the good gesture that he made when he paid backlog of gratuity owed state workers recently to us, after all, what is good for the geese is good for the ganders. Poly retirees should not be left to continue to suffer.
That we, the Polytechnic retirees have no confidence in the management of the Polytechnic nor the governing council, we see them as selfish and non responsive to our yearnings, thus, arrangements should be made by the state government to pay us directly. We see them as the proverbial errand bearer sent to deliver eggs to someone but licked the eggs on the way thinking that the eggs were honey or sugar coated.
That the governor should direct that, henceforth, we, the Polytechnic retirees are paid our monthly pension in full – there should be no half payment of our monthly pension. It is pertinent to note that some of the retirees’ pension is not up to fifty thousand naira when paid in full. It then smacks of wickedness on the part of Rufus Giwa polytechnic management to be paying us, the retirees, half of our monthly pension since all these days!
I hereby passionately call on the eminent elder statesmen in Ondo state, Pa Fashoranti, Chief Olu Falae, our highly respected royal fathers, the Olugbo of Ugbo, Olowo of Owo, Deji of Akure, Olukare of Ikare, Amapetu of Mahin, Abodi of Ikale, the eminent religious leaders, Baba Arch Bishop Gbonigi, Arch Bishop Borokini, the chief Imam of Ondo state, Sheik Aladesawe, Sheik Yayi-Akorede, Christian Association of Nigeria chairman in Ondo state, APC party chairman, Engr Ade Adetimehin, Senators Olupitan, Bode Olajumoke, Ajayi Borrofice, Tayo Alasoadura, distinguished members of Ondo state House of assembly and other opinion leaders in the state, to help appeal and call on the governor of Ondo state, Arakunrin Rotimi Akerodolu to intervene in our matter without further delay and direct that our gratuity is paid and that we are paid in full our monthly pension henceforth.
Please, kindly help prevail on the governor to approve funds for the payment of our entitlement just as he did for other state retirees not long ago. We should not be left out in the scheme of things. The untold hardship brought about on us and our families at our old ages should be terminated forthwith, after all, we have paid our dues too. We served our dear state with all our strength and youthful vigour, right from the days of our youths till we put in the service of Ondo state, thirty five years active services. We are now senior citizens of the state, this should not be by mouth, but it should be reflected in the way we are treated, obviously we deserve better treatment. Our tears of sorrow should not be allowed to dry before our voices is hearken to and our modest demand is met.
Long live Ondo state!
Long live Nigeria!!
Yours in sorrow,
For and on behalf of all the retirees and pensioners of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.