The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, South West Zone has vowed to sue state governors in the country over non-payment of gratuities.
NUP said the gratuity was for their members across the country from 2008 till date.
Ayo Kumapayi and Olusegun Abatan, Zonal Chairman and Spokesman for the zone respectively, made disclosure at the end of the zonal meeting held on Thursday in Akure, Ondo State.
According to them, the union has discovered that nonpayment of gratuity to pensioners is not only in the South West but throughout the federation.
They said: “It has become a tradition of Nigerian governors to the extent that pensioners are not paid from 2008 to 2019.
“It has become a very serious affair and many of our pensioners have been dying prematurely as a result of this non-payment of gratuity.
“So, the South West Zone of NUP has decided to test certain parts of Nigeria constitution in a competent court of law.
“We want to determine whether it is constitutional that state governors should not pay gratuities and pension as at when due.
“Or if it is constitutional for them not to pay us, we want to determine it and if it is unconstitutional, then we will go further to determine the next level to take.”
They said the union supported the local government autonomy, explaining that governors had dabbled into funds of LGAs, which made them to shortchange pensioners and workers in their various states.
The statement added: “The NUP, therefore, calls for reduction of governors and lawmakers salaries packages and government should stop paying them life pension.
“It is distasteful and wicked that civil servants who work for 35 years and entitled to gratuity and pension but not paid as at when due.
“Section 124 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, states that those at the categories of collecting pension and gratuity, are definitely not lawmakers.
“Because you served for four or eight years and you want to take pension for life, what of those who served for 35 years.”
The Union, therefore, called for a review of law setting up the Revenue Mobilisations, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to empower it to place all political office holders, including the president, governors, ministers, federal and state lawmakers, on the same salary scale with civil servants from Grade Level 18 to Grade Level 25 in the country.
They said this would save the country’s economy from collapsing and enable government to have more money to take care of the needs of the less-privilege.
Also speaking, the National Deputy General Secretary of NUP, Chief Joseph Okunade, said the national leadership of the pensioners was in full support of the legal action against the state governors.
Okunade said: “We call for inclusion of retirees in the new N30,000 minimum wage to be known as the National Minimum Pension.
“We advise governors who are grumbling over payment of the new wage to shun frivolous spending to enable them meet workers and pensioners’ needs.”