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Defunct Nigeria Airways loses 700 pensioners, to boycott 2015 Elections

A Boeing 747-200BM in Nigeria Airways livery at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in 1988. This aircraft was leased from Scandinavian Airlines.
ANTHONY OMOH
What is happening to ex-workers of the defunct National Carrier, Nigerian Airways? It would seem that the last has not been heard over the payment of these pensioners who have once again found their voice to help claim some of their entitlements before they all expire into the great nothing.
Rising from a meeting today this group of over 6000 pensioners decried the deaths of over 700 from their number and have vowed to boycott the 2015 general elections stating that government for seven years have turned a blind eye to their plight calling government insensitive and blamed them of neglect.
The pensioners in their thousands regretted that all attempts to get their money paid by the government in power after the five years paid  by the Yar’Adua government has met opposition as the government was not ready to dialogue with them.
Late president Yar Adua paid these pensioners their five years arrears in pension and it was expected that this would continue as it was agreed since government is a continuum, however this has not been as this group was swept again to the backburner, ignored and neglected.
Some of the pensioners told reporters that they regrouped as a result of maltreatment and continue neglect by government adding that over 700 former workers of the airline have died as a result of incapacitation which resulted to various ailments.
They lamented that neither the National Assembly nor the executive was ready to listen to them adding that the five years paid them was not in the interest of the pensioners but money paid to deceased workers.
They stressed that it was for this neglect that they vowed never to participate in all the rescheduled elections.
“We have resolved with our families throughout the country not to vote in this election because our people are dying every day. Our children have stopped going to school, our wives have abandoned us and most of us are very ill without shelter.”
“Nobody in government is listening to our cry for over 13 years and they want us to vote. Vote for people who don’t know whether we exist? We cannot because we have served the government with our heart”
They urged government to pay them their arrears since the airline was liquidated and place them on pension for life to allow peace reign in the country.
They said when they approached the law court, they were asked to settle out of court with the government representatives but nobody has initiated settlement up till today after three years after the agreement.
They urged government to use the remaining four weeks to correct the anomalies adding that their colleagues in national shipping line will be paid in March while nothing was heard about that of Nigeria Airways.
This new move may be coming as a last minute battle cry seeing that if the elections had held February 14, they would be looking at directing this cry to another government but crying out for justice has no right time these ex workers continue to agonise
However some months back, former engineer with the defunct Nigeria Airways Ltd (NAL) and former managing director of Aircraft Maintenance Organization of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Jibodu also criticized the federal government’s indifferent attitude as it relates to the severance benefits of employees of the rested airline.
“This country doesn’t encourage workers and that is why people are stealing this country blind today. During our time, unfortunately, we didn’t have the idea to steal. If we had the idea to steal, maybe today, we will get something to rely upon. We devoted our time to work and that’s the punishment we are receiving today.
“The hope of any civil or public servant is that after he completes 35 years in any organisation, he should be able to enjoy pension till he dies. We were given five years’ pension, but I’m sure that the lives of NAL workers are not five years. What we are saying is that the government should pay us the balance of the money so that we can use it to better our lives.

“The late President Musa Yar’Adua, paid five years with the promise that the other 20 years would be paid, but since he died nothing has happened. The fact that the present president, President Goodluck Jonathan was working with Yar’Adua and has the knowledge of that situation, we expected him to take charge and pay us the balance of the money,” he said.

About anthony omoh

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I am a Journalist with a passion for developmental stories and nigerianflightdeck.com was born out of passion for reporting the travel, business and aviation sub-sector. This site is an expression of my ideals and creativity as a reporter and my discretion as a publisher. I am extremely content doing this and I am sure when you read my stories you’d understand that I touch people and that’s why

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