From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
As a new administration has just begun in Ekiti State, members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners(NUP) in the state, yesterday, went spiritual as they gathered together to pray for a successful administration for the new governor of the state.
The new governor, Biodun Oyebanji, who was sworn-in October 16, 2022, to lead the state for a four-year tenure, took over the mantle of leadership from Dr Kayode Fayemi.
The inter-faith program tagged “Seeking divine intervention for a successful tenure for His Excellency, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, Ekiti State Governor” was held at the union’s secretariat in Ado Ekiti.
At the prayer session, the senior citizens, including men and women, who were all dressed in white attires, prayed that God will journey with Gov Oyebanji from the beginning to the end of his tenure, that his achievements will surpass that of his predecessors and that the new governor will pay their arrears of pensions and gratuities owed by past administrations.
In his sermon, Pastor Isaac Ayodele Ojo, explained that only God can touch the heart of the Governor to attend to the needs of the pensioners, hence the need for the prayer.
He expressed dissatisfaction with how leaders often deny retirees thier benefits after they have served the state with the better parts of their lives.
Also, the Chief Imam of Ansar-Ur-Deen Central Mosque, Ado Ekiti, Alhaji Abdul -Tolib Mohammed, expressed hope that Governor Oyebanji would perform excellently.
The men of God prayed that Ekiti will move to greater heights during Oyebanji’s tenure, that his government will favour the pensioners and charged the people of the state to continue to pray for him.
According to the NUP chairman, Elder Joel Akinola, the program was to make a covenant with God and to thank
Him for ending the era of pensioners’ sufferings in the state with the expiration of the immediate past administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi.
Akinola said, ” We strongly believe that Oyebanji will not continue with punishing pensioners. Pensioners had never had it so bad like the past two administrations of Kayode Fayemi And Ayodele Fayose. We don’t deserve the treatment they gave us. We laboured for this state but we found ourselves in the hands of people who care less about our welfares. We have human capital resources, the state is endowed but bad leadership has halted the wheel of development.
“How do you narrate that about 300 pensioners died while 400 were bedridden under the last government? About 40 billion naira gratuity unpaid, seven months pension unpaid and a lot of issues.
“Oyebanji can only follow a good lane and a path of honour. His personality and antecedent reveal that he would be a good leader. He must immediately attend to our matters without postponing.
“He has governance and leadership experience, there was nothing he could do before as an appointee but now as a Governor, we want to see his true colour. His father is also a pensioner and he would not wish his father suffer.”