- Promises to wipe out backlog of pensions, gratuity
As he rounds off his campaigns, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu state, Chief Uche Nnaji Nwakaibie has pleaded with the people of Enugu state to give him a chance to change the fortunes of the state by voting him as governor of the state in the March 11 scheduled governorship and House of Assembly elections.
He said that unlike others, he is the only candidate that has never worked as a public or civil servant, and therefore has never tampered with government money but has built his multi-billion business empire out of dint of hard work and grace of God.
Nwakaibie said that having leant the rope on how to create wealth, he would leverage on his wealth of experience in the private sector to industrialize the state, revamp agriculture, and tackle insecurity through employment creation.
The APC guber candidate, who spoke in a Dream Fm Enugu radio phone in programme, specifically promised to tackle the intractable suffering of pensioners who are owed several months of pension and gratuity even as many of them die through heartbreaks and frustration.
He said, “11th of March is yet another time for the people of Enugu state to say yes to good governance or no to good governance. They have started already, but it is important that Enugu realizes who is coming irrespective of the party, who is going to work.
“I have never been a civil servant all my life, I have never taken money from the government, I have never developed from the government. I have been a man on my own. All the resources I have earned are by hard work and by the grace of God. All those I have done for myself and I have been creating a lot for our people.
“I have industries going on and it is because of this thing not realizing that this money is for the government, this one is for you that people make mistakes of going to take the commonwealth of the people.
“We have had a series of so many accusations, we have had people who have taken plea bargains and yet they are running elections. This kind of thing should not happen; people should respect the constitution and the will of the people.
“If you have a plea bargain, plea bargain for God’s sake is plea bargain; give it 10 years and come up again, not in eight years you will be rushing to go and contest when it is not 10 years.”
He said that the pension situation in Enugu state was a mess, and vowed to wipe out backlogs of pension and gratuity in the state within his first six months in office, even if it entails borrowing money to do so.
Nwakaibie said, “Pension and gratuity in Enugu state is a mess because it’s not understandable, nobody can understand it that after serving the people, serving the state or federal that the pension is withheld. Atimes when we talk to these pensioners I tell them why stress yourself this much on this your pension, let’s be giving you N5000 every month instead of collecting N1000 from pension, they will say they need their pension more than my money.
“They are so attached to that pension and so many of them out of heartbreak die out of waiting for the pension and it is very unfortunate. So we are not going to allow it to happen, even if it means borrowing money to pay our mothers and fathers their pension and gratuity, Enugu state government under our watch, Nwakaibie will borrow money because it is painful.
“I don’t have parents that went through the civil service structure but it pains me as if they are my parents. It pains me to the bone marrow that people cannot get their pension and it’s not that it is the government that is paying them or doing them any favour, the government is holding their money deducted from their monthly salary. At the end of work when they are supposed to get their pension, they will not get it.
“So many people die out of frustration; so many people die because they cannot afford to bring even N5000 to treat themselves in the hospital because they are not getting their pension. This is the first thing we are going to do in government and God will help us within six months of our governance. We will reduce it drastically if we don’t pay all.