Abia Pensioners Hold Thanksgiving Service, Extol Gov Otti For Fulfilling Promise

 

In a heartfelt gesture of gratitude, the Members of the Concerned Abia Pensioners, Sunday,  convened a thanksgiving service, to appreciate God and thank Governor Alex Otti for fulfilling his promise to settle the longstanding arrears of pensions owed them by past administrations in the State.

Recall that Governor Otti recently fulfilled his campaign promise of defraying all arrears of pensions owed the senior citizens in the state and has also promised that going forward, retirees would receive their pensions on the same day as civil servants receive their monthly salaries.

 


Speaking in an interview at The Apostolic Church Nigeria, No. 55 Awolowo Street Umuahia, venue of the Thanksgiving service, the Chairman, Concerned Abia Pensioners, Elder John Kalu recounted years of anguish and struggle endured by pensioners, who faced dire circumstances due to the non-payment of pensions, resulting in financial hardship and health challenges, including the loss of fellow retirees.

 

Elder Kalu, 85, who further recounted the Governor’s pledge during his campaign to rectify the arrears issue and ensure regular monthly payments, expressed profound appreciation to Governor Otti for honoring his commitment to address the pensioners’ plight.

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He said, “We had a very big problem. Our problem is that they did not pay us our pensions, our members were dying in thousands because of illness and no money to go to hospital, no money to eat. We started to pray , we were fasting and praying. We went to churches for them to help us in prayers, The Apostolic Church was one of the churches we went to.

 

“So, this time, the Governor has given us what we wanted. He has paid us the arrears of pensions which the other government didn’t pay us , which we were crying for, he has paid it to us. We are grateful. That is why we said we should go back to The Apostolic Church to tell them that God has done what we requested for.

 

“Right from the time he (Governor Otti) was campaigning, he came to the Abia State Pensioners. He told us that if we vote him, he will pay our arrears and he will be paying us monthly. So, he did it, that is why we are saying that we are grateful to him”.

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Also, speaking, the Assistant Secretary of Concerned Abia Pensioners, Mr. Okechukwu Ehisianya and a member of the group, Mrs. Mercy Ogbonna, while emphasizing the transformative impact of the arrears payment said the Governor’s intervention had not only alleviated financial distress but had also infused renewed hope and vitality into the lives of Abia pensioners.

Receiving the Pensioners, the Pastor in – charge and Area Superintendent of The Apostolic Church Nigeria, Umuahia Area, Apostle Bernard Ugbor commended the pensioners for their spirit of gratitude and Governor Otti for prioritizing the welfare of senior citizens.

 

He expressed confidence in Governor Otti’s leadership and prayed for continued blessings upon him and the state.

 

“I thank God for the kind gesture of our dynamic Governor for having remembered these retirees. Thank God for the pension arrears that he (Governor Otti) has cleared and we pray that he would do more.

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“Having had these kind of people in mind means that he is a God fearing leader. God will bless him and will continue to bless him. I know his government is going to be the best by God’s grace.

 

“These pensioners did what happened in the scriptures, out of 10 lepers, one returned to give thanks to God for what He has done. That is exactly what they have done”, Apostle Ugbor stated.