– He died of hunger, threat from govt – colleagues
– Died with three months bounced pension cheque – son
The hard fighting and dogged President of the Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners Comrade Gideon Ezeji has been reported dead after about six months of hunger, frustration and alleged fear of threats.
Reports from his hometown in Umudim in Ikeduru local government area reveal that the elder statesmen in his early 70s has been frantically and spiritedly funding and championing the cause of thousands of Imo retirees who have been deprived of their monthly pensions and since 2016 and other retirement benefits.
He championed and spear headed the arbitration court litigation over the arbitrary cut in pensioners wages by the government, assisted by the state branch of the Nigeria Bar Association that succeeded in getting judgment for the distressed, hunger striken pensioners who till date are still wallowing in distress, pain, hunger and abject poverty.
When contacted, the third son of the deceased, Enyinnaya Ezeji confirmed the development. He said the astute and dogged labour leader fell sick immediately after the pensioners, with the assistance of the Nigerian Bar Association, got judgment against the government in July 2017. According to him, “my father was also given a First Bank bounced cheque of 3 months pension. The cheque has not been cashed till date and we still have it”.
When contacted on the phone a pensioner and member of the Association of retired permanent secretaries, comrade Fabian I. Agba also confirmed the news of the death of Chief Ezeji and stated that when it was assured that the man was recovering from his ill-health he died.
He stated the pressure and distress of other pensioners weighed heavily on the man and that lack of money, coupled with threats from above must have contributed to his death adding that hunger and starvation have always been instruments of war and without money how can one obtain adequate treatment or food.
More details of the passing on of this revered elder statesman will be brought to you in subsequent editions.