– Meets with NUP executives
– Promises to provide succor
It was all tears and lamentations at the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Secretariat Owerri and the World Bank Housing Estate Owerri, residence of late comrade Gideon Ezeji when a three man powerful delegation from Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume visited them to commiserate and condole with the family and the Imo Pensioners, over the irreparable and painful loss.
The delegation from Senator Araraume, led by the former Commissioner for Information and later for Internal Resources and Pension Matters, Chief Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, along with Major Barr. Sam Onyekwere and Barrister Ebere Osuji, first called at the NUP secretariat Owerri from where they were accompanied to the house of the fallen hero by members of the union’s executives and the third son of the deceased, Enyinnanye Ezeji.
The Distinguished Senator who was reported as being highly worried and concerned over the plight of Imo pensioners and the sudden death of their former state president, was away in United States of America (USA) to launch the Araraume fans club and meet with some Imolites hence the delegation to the union and the immediate family, was led by his close confidents.
The team was received at the NUP secretariat by the acting Chairman, comrade D. C. Nwokeji, the Union Secretary; Apostle Livy Ashiegbu and his assistant, Prince Oliver Ejike and a brief interaction they left for new Owerri where they met with the widow of the deceased and her second son with other sympathizers amidst tears and groans of grief for a man who sacrificed his life that others may live.
In his speech, Chief Ajumbe said that the Distinguished Senator Araraume, would have been here in person to commiserate with the family and the union members but for his unavoidable trip outside stating that Senator Araraume is one of the stakeholders of the state who is worried over the plight of Imo pensioners.
Ajumbe narrated how during his tenure, as commissioner for Internal Resources, he fought timelessly to ensure that pensioners were paid regularly and how the deceased leader used all human approaches, to secure his colleagues but their joint efforts were frustrated, by the administration.
Chief Ajumbe said that to date, it surprises how Imo pensioners monthly pension profile rose from N500 million to N1.5 billion adding “this is not the time to talk about the huge fraud in the pensions board”.
“Equally, as former commissioner, I know the way and manner Senator Araraume is worried each time he learns that pensioners are being owed, maltreated, and on my own, if he had his way he could have paid them because as he said there is no cause for the prolonged indebtedness”.
Adding his voice, Barr. Sam Onyekwere extended the heartfelt sympathy of Distinguished Senator to the family and thousands of Imo pensioners who are grieved by the death of Chief Ezeji, praying that the surviving pensioners would be alive to benefit from the largesse and benevolence of Senator Araraume when he expectedly becomes governor of Imo State in 2019.
Responding, the acting Chairman of NUP, Imo state chapter, appreciated the team and commended Senator Araraume for his show of sympathy while lamenting that “thousands of our members are dying systematically including my own dear wife”. Unfortunately the government through the pensions board has stopped our union check off dues usually deducted at source since 2015 leaving us with nothing to operate, he explained.
“The office where your team met us was built from check off dues. If it were now, under Rochas Okorocha it would not have been built, what killed our President is pressure from members who call at odd times complaining about their health conditions, welfare and paucity of funds to cater for their family and needs”.
Contributing, the secretary of the union confirmed that Senator Araraume is one of the very few stakeholders who have shown concern over the plight of Imo pensioners and had occasionally invited them for a talk which they had not responded to because of the case they had in court hopefully believing that after the case their matter would be over.
He recalled how governor Okorocha through his mouth piece, the chief press secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, “has been feasting on our agony” because they feel we cannot fight. That is why when we heard that APC members were coming to visit us we became apprehensive until Araraume’s name was mentioned, and for that we felt relaxed and comfortable”.
Though the sobbing wife of the deceased could not talk, the second son of the family, Mr. Tochukwu Ezeji on behalf of the family thanked the Senator and members of the Destiny Organization, for remembering them at a time like this saying “everyday, and in everything my father remembered the plights of Imo pensioners”.
Barr. Ebere Osuji finally led in the solemn prayer for the repose of the soul of this great man of the aged and distressed retirees, who departed to higher glory having completed his earthly sojourn in the service of God and humanity.