The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Ekiti on Thursday appealed to both the Federal and State Government to give palliatives to its members to enable them cope with the effects of the lockdown aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Ayo Kumapayi and Azeez Agbaje, Chairman and Secretary of the union respectively, made the appeal in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti.
The statement said the request for palliatives had become necessary following the extension of the lockdown by two more weeks in the state.
According to the statement, the lockdown has subjected many pensioners to hunger and untold hardship thus resulting in health complications and even death of some of the members.
“While we commend our government for their efforts to cushion the effects of this pandemic on the vulnerable citizens, it is important to call for more attention to the plight of other groups.
“We have recorded several deaths of our members since this lockdown began, most of them from 70 years and above, while some are currently in critical condition for some reasons including hunger.
“The lockdown is a double jeopardy on our members because some of them were still being owed pension arrears by government while their children who are supposed to cater for them are also trapped in the lockdown.
“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 statement said.
It said the CCT Scheme of the Federal Government ought to have captured pensioners as they were among the vulnerable persons in the society based on their age and health.
“We are therefore appealing to governments, corporate bodies and individuals to save our souls and reach out to our members,” the statement added.