By Adamu Yusuf
The Senate President Godswill Akpabio has assured the Nigerian Police retirees that the senate is willing and ready to pass the Police Pension Bill on time and transmit to President Bola Tinubu to assent.
He gave the assurance while addressing the Association of Retired Police Officers Kaduna State Chapter whom conducted a peaceful protest at the National Assembly Abuja, pleaded with the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass the police pension bill just like the military and other security agencies.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Police Affairs Senator AbdulHamid Malamadori assured them that once the Senate was through with the budget defence, they would ensure that they pass the bill to third reading which was already passed first reading.
“The Senate acknowledged the commitment and the sacrifices of the Nigerian Police and we are willing and ready to transmit this bill to the President to assent on time so that retired Police Officers would enjoy same benefit with military and other security agencies” He said.
He commended the peaceful protest conducted by the Retired Police Officers Kaduna State Chapter at the National Assembly and assured them that immediately after the budget defence, they would invite the Inspector General of Police to discuss on how to exit them from contributory pension scheme.
” Due to the seriousness of your matter, the Senate Committee on Police Affairs would invite the IG to the house to deliberate on how to remove the police retirees from the Contributory Pension Scheme.
Leading the protest to the National Assembly, Abuja, the Chairman of the Retired Police Officers Kaduna State Chapter Rtd CSP, Mannir Lawal Zaria said the Nigerian Police retirees under the scheme are dying in silence.
He said the 9th National Assembly passed the police pension bill since June this year to exit the Nigeria Police from the contributory pension scheme and the establishment of the Police Pension board but President Muhammadu Buhari didn’t assent to the bill before leaving office.
The leader of the protesting retired Police officers, Mannir Lawal Zaria said the living condition of their members is deteriorating and they die daily of simple causes.
“If you look at our number here, we are very few because many of us have died already. Those alive are semi-paralysed because of poverty; ordinary malaria, they cannot treat. What type of country is this; where are we heading to?
“The most annoying thing again, the Federal Government approved 2.5% increment of our own money, but surprisingly Pencom refused to pay us by saying they are going to put it in our salary savings account. Is that the right thing? When you are working for somebody, do you turn to be his master?
“Why did the DG Pencom refused to give us our money, but prefer to put it in our salary savings account? Let the NASS ask this woman. Why is she not ready to pay us our money knowing that everything in the market had increased in price.”
“We cannot eat any good food now. We survive by the mercy of God. DG Pencom refused to pay us 3 increments by the Federal Government, why? Are we not Nigerians?
He said no Police retirees received any palliatives even when they are the worst hit as far as monthly take home is concerned, adding “we are not leaving the NASS until these requests are met.
“Those of us you see are here by the mercy of almighty God. We are crying before we die, because if we don’t cry the FG will not know that our members are dying daily. If you retire, you die of hypertension”, he concluded.