Pains of 84-year-old Delta State pensioner

Pains of 84-year-old Delta State pensioner 

BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
MISTER Timothy Dumbiri Akpede, an 84-year-old blind pensioner served
Nigeria in various capacities before retirement. He served the nation as
an athlete, a councilor and a teacher before retiring on December 31,
1984.
As an athlete, he represented the defunct Mid-Western Region which
makes up the present Edo and Delta states, in the All Nigeria Athletic
Competition that took place at the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan in 1958
during his school days and as a teacher in Warri, he was appointed into
the Warri Urban District Council as a councilor between 1963 and 1965.
The octogenarian pensioner, a native of Ute Opku in Ika North-East
local government area of Delta State, served as Head of several primary
schools in the defunct Bendel State, the last being Azagba Primary
School, Otolokpo in Ika North-East local government before transferring
his service to Ede Grammar, Umunede,  where he eventually retired in
1984.
After his retirement, Mr. Akpede was appointed a Supervisory
Councilor in the defunct Ika local government council where he served
the people of Ika diligently leading to his election as Deputy Chairman
to Hon. Bernard Aziken in the same defunct Ika Local Government Council.

His early post retirement life was without many problems as his
pension was being paid to him until 2010 when suddenly payment of his
pension became irregular for inexplicable reason.
Speaking on his plight, the retiree of 27 years, said he could not
understand why he was being owed over 16 months’ arrears of pension by
the Federal Government, saying the Delta State Government had being
paying its share of the pension, but the Federal Government had not.
He lamented that the Federal share of the pension which was being denied him, constituted 70 percent of his total pension.
According to him, his predicament started in July, 2010 when the
payment of his monthly pension suddenly became irregular, saying “I have
been receiving my monthly pension since I retired in 1984 until July
2010 when the payment of my pension became inconsistent”,  lamented the
pensioner who lost his sight nine years ago (2003).
He noted that he was not paid his pension from July 2010 to July
2011, stressing that authorities concerned only paid him in August,
October and November 2011, but that of September, December 2011 and
January, 2012 were not paid, making it a total of 16 months unpaid
arrears.
The octogenarian pensioner said: “I have never missed any screening
exercise for pensioners in the state and at 84, I cannot do anything to
take care of myself. If not my wife and children who are struggling to
take care of me as well as the grace of God upon my life, I would have
long died of hunger since 2010 when the payment of my monthly pension
became astonishingly irregular.”
He appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to intervene and save him
from necessary suffering being inflicted upon him by relevant government
agency saddled with the responsibilities of paying pensions to retirees
to pay up his 16 months pension arrears to enable him feed and take
care of his medical needs.
Akpede added “I never knew that I would lose my sight at old age and
this is exactly what I have been suffering since 2003. As if this health
challenge is not enough, the payment of my monthly pension became
inconsistent two years later (2010). This is one of the things I am
grappling with at the moment.”

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