Edith CHUKU / Gift BARIKWA, PH
Stomach infrastructure’ mantra of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, is believed to have been long overdue, as retirees in the state continue to express dismay over delay in the payment of their gratuity.
Recall that during the opening of the Rumukwurushi flyover, the governor received accolades after he pronounced that he(Wike) will now face stomach infrastructure. That promise did raise the hopes of both those that are yet to be promoted and pensioners in the state.
It is still uncertain when Wike intends to begin the ‘stomach infrastructure’ he had earlier promised.
Speaking with TNN in an exclusive interview, a former permanent secretary, who is currently Eze-Wori V11, Chief Livinus Agbovu, Jp, has described the delay in the payment of gratuity as unfortunate.
According to him, “It’s very unfortunate that Nyesom couldn’t pay me my gratuity of which that would have been my backing.
“I cannot say that he refused because government deals with cases as they come, maybe there are some other pressing needs, like these projects he is doing here and there, may be his attention is being diverted from payment of gratuity. But all I am saying is that as a human being. he should have known that someone who retired since 2018, 2015, that the only condolence, the only thing he has is that gratuity, where he can re-establish himself, to me, he should have considered that payment, like he has set up another two flyovers that will cost billions, he should consider human being first, just consider human being first.
“When he was opening this Rumukwurushi flyover, he said yes, I can now stop and face stomach infrastructure, people hailed him, people thought that maybe both the arears, both promotion that he has not implemented, he will now do it because any moment that is done even market women will be affected, people will go and buy, every other person, but, since that time he has never come up, everywhere is standstill, go to market now, pepper, ordinary pepper you can’t buy, pepper of hundred naira, you can hardly get pepper of hundred naira now, so, what are we talking? Everywhere tight up, so, to me, all I am saying is that as a governor, he knows how he has outlined his priorities, otherwise, he should have considered, he should have considered the poor masses, especially the retirees, because it is not easy, for you to work up to 35 years or survive up to 60 years before retiring, you have tried.
“The issue is that politicians always know their strategy, the way I am thinking, he might use the gratuity as a campaign strategy, you know during election, any goodwill done raises your political maturity and relevance, and makes people place you highly, if like we are saying, he will from this period attend to this gratuity, you will find out that people will glamour and place him high, even vote for whomever that he has instructed, but you can’t tell me that if he has failed, and he is talking to audience, no, people may not be happy, so, to me, the way I am looking at it, assuming he has plan, this period that he has even ordered that they should start interviewing pensioners, it’s a very good time to me as a child of faith and hope, I hope that he will do it, I hope he will do it, he will pay us.”