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After appealing to Osun govt to pay his salary, pension arrears, retiree dies of protracted illness

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PA AMIOLA Sunday, a 64-year-old retired primary school headmaster in Osun state,  has died and buried on Sunday, December 20, after a protracted illness. 

Weeks before his death, The ICIR released a special report on the travails of the retired Osun pensioners where Pa Amiola granted an extensive interview and appealed to the Osun state government to pay arrears of his salaries and pension. 

According to one of his children, Odunayo Amiola, who spoke to The ICIR on Thursday, aside from chronic Glaucoma which rendered him sightless, Pa Amiola was suffering from swollen testicles which he could not afford to treat until his death. 

He was among the thousands of Osun civil servants affected by the modulated salary scheme introduced in 2015 by former governor Rauf Aregbesola.

He told The ICIR before his death that his situation would not have become worse if Aregbesola government had paid his seven months modulated salary arrears, including gratuity and monthly pension.

The deceased was born on August 4 1956 and joined the Oyo  State Universal Basic Education Board on the 1st of September 1981.

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He served in numerous capacity as a primary school teacher until he retired as a headmaster Government community Middle/ Elementary school, Omolonde Ikire in 2016. 

Before the Covid-19 lockdown, Pa Amiola had resorted to begging for alms on the roads of Ikire town with a 9-year old boy taking him around. Most times, he goes to schools to beg from students and visits churches and mosques on worship days.

The late Pa Amiola Sunday, a retired headmaster, standing in front of his house located around Fatima area of Ikire. Photo Credit: Samad Uthman/The ICIR

For four years, the old man and other retirees have been owed salaries, gratuity and pensions,  a total violation of section 210 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution, which states that any benefit to which a person is entitled shall not be withheld or altered to his disadvantage. 

Pa Amiola’s case is just one of many of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) beneficiaries in the state who now wallow in abject poverty after long years of service.

Samad Uthman is a multimedia journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. He tweets @sarmerdk2 and can be shot through [email protected]

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