EKITI State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners has appealed to the state and federal governments to consider its members in palliative gestures to cushion the effect of the current lockdown as Nigeria battles COVID-19 pandemic.The union said the request had become pertinent due to the lockdown extension by both Ekiti State and the federal government.
This was contained in a statement signed by the chairman of the union, Elder Ayo Kumapayi, and the secretary, Azeez Agbaje.
According to the statement, the current situation has exposed pensioners to hunger and untold hardship, leading to health complications and even death of some members.
It said, “While we commend our government for their efforts to cushion the effects of this pandemic on the vulnerable citizens, it is important to call their attention to the plight of our members.
“We have recorded several deaths of our members since this lockdown began, most of them especially from 70 years and above are now in critical condition due to hunger.
“The lock down is a double jeopardy on our members because some of them were still being owed pension by government while their children who were supposed to provide for their food are also trapped in the locked down.
The statement added,”In addition, many Samaritans have also deserted our members based on the directives of government on the need for people to avoid contact with the aged for now.
“It is very important that our government reach out to our members through the route used for the payment of their pension and allowances or pass through the union so as to save them from untimely death.”
The union said the federal government ought to have captured pensioners in the cash transfer scheme as they are venerable people in the society due to age and health status.
It therefore appealed to the government, corporate bodies and individuals to come to the rescue of members as the present lockdown has made palliatives inevitable