Pensioners in Imo State have expressed anger and disappointment over how they were called to celebrate the Senior Citizen’s Day and re-validation exercise only to be compelled to endorse Governor Hope Uzodinma’s second term ambition against their wish.

Some victims of the deceitful antics of the current APC administration who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “to our greatest surprise, for the first time since the inception of this administration, buses were hired and sent to all our local government area chapters to convey our members to Owerri for the stage managed endorsement which is at variance with the reality on ground.

On getting to the venue of the purported celebration and revalidation exercise, we were surprised to notice that the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) had already prepared an endorsement plaque which they presented to the Governor on behalf of pensioners in Imo State”.

One of the victims, while narrating his experience, said that most of them who were conveyed to the venue from different places were stranded after the event as the only thing they took home was the Governor’s promise to pay them their gratuities if he is re-elected. This, they said was a political statement aimed at deceiving and hoodwinking them into condoning another 4-year tenure of purposeless leadership and ineptitude.

When contacted for comments, a retired Permanent Secretary and former Chairman of the Association of Retired Permanent Secretaries in Imo State, Chief FI Agba, expressed disappointment over the action of the labour leaders who only deceived their colleagues into endorsing Uzodinma.He said, going by Labour Union rules, we are not supposed to be directly involved in politics. Unfortunately, Uzodinma is supporting such aberration.

“The Chairman and Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioner are just playing politics with the Uzodinma administration. Pensioners don’t vote in bulk and Uzodinma won’t be there when they will vote. I bet you, most of them will not vote for him because he has deceitfully brought them to Owerri and abandoned them.

“The leadership of NUP in Imo State only deceived the Governor because no meeting was convened and the issue of endorsing the Governor was not discussed at any time. Hence, those who mobilized the crowd in the name of pensioners are fraudsters.

“How can you get vehicles to convey people from the different local government areas to Owerri for verification only to deceitfully turn the event to endorsement of the Governor?

“It is unfortunate and ridiculous that the Governor is celebrating the award. When I was a Permanent Secretary, many traditional rulers approached us for Chieftaincy titles. This has shown that the Governor is desperate for the position and is looking for who will endorse him”.

The renowned human rights activist and veteran Trade Unionist further posited that, the purported endorsement of the Governor is a waste of time that is neither here nor there.

“It is also an insult on the sensibilities of Imo people. How can we endorse the Governor when more than 10% of pensioners are still being owed several months arrears of pension and gratuity. Infact, most of us are paid sixty percent while other are paid thirty percent of our monthly entitlements”.