The Association of Retired Permanent Secretaries in Imo, has told Governor Rochas Okorocha that continued delay of pension payment by government amounts to forced loan and should attract interest.
The pensioners made their position known in a statement on Friday in Owerri.
In a three-page statement signed by Hyacinth Onyekwere and Fabian Agba, chairman and secretary respectively, the group stated that pension is a first charge, recognised by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Pension is constitutionally guaranteed right, which should not be delayed under any circumstance as provided in Section 210 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.
“Many pensioners have died out of starvation and sickness, because of their inability to afford their medication.
“Some pensioners’ wives, children members of their extended families are subjected to untold hardship.
“Their children and wards have dropped out of school because they are unable to pay their fees,” the group said.
The pensioners called on Mr. Okorocha to take advantage of the bailout fund and settle all outstanding pensions of Imo pensioners.
“We call on the governor to ensure he takes advantage of the bailout to settle all outstanding pensioners because anything to the contrary will be unpardonable,” the group added.