The seeming disagreement between the Imo State Government led by Governor Rochas Okorocha and the Imo Pensioners have resurrected again, following government demand on the Pensioners to provide their fresh personal bio-data.
The crux of the matter borders on a request by Okorocha led administration to the retired civil servants to provide sensitive information before they could be paid their pensions.
In a letter made available to Newsmen by the Association of Retired Permanent Secretaries, signed by the scribe, Comrade F.I Agba, it challenged the authenticity of the request of BIO-Data, arguing that it does not relate to any particular government office charged with the responsibility of pension administration in the state.
They said that requesting for their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), Blood Group, Genotype, Personal Residential addresses is an aberration, saying it has no relevance to the payment of pensions.
According to the senior citizens, all the data required in the newly circulated form are all in the custody of the state government.
“Some of these data were supplied by pensioners when they filled forms during their retirement and were consequently issued with pension identity cards”
They further said that the state government has continued to raise irrelevant reasons inorder to with hold their entitlements.
Speaking further, the letter said, “releasing such personal information, before they get their rights is a violation of section 37 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which guarantees the privacy of every citizen in Nigeria”.
Okorocha was also lampooned for coercing them into filling several forms since the birth of his administration, while they tagged the present attempt as a gimmick to further delay the payment of pensions and gratuities in the State contrary to the provision of section 210(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
The letter finally reads, “We therefore consider the circulation of this form as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. This bio data form will not in any way positively impact on the payment of pensions in Imo State”.