Retired employees of the Abia State government rejoiced as Governor Alex Otti fulfilled his campaign promises to clear the nine-year backlog of pensions accumulated by past administrations.

On a Thursday filled with tears of joy, senior citizens began receiving unexpected credit alerts, some totaling as much as N1.8 million or more, marking an end to their prolonged financial hardship.

Governor Otti, speaking with resolve during a gathering at Christ the King Catholic Church in Aba, confidently assured the pensioners that their suffering would come to an end before the day’s end.

“Many of you have been owed since 2014. By the close of business today, all of you will have reason to smile. Check your accounts,” Otti declared, instilling hope among the faithful.

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True to his word, Abia witnessed a flurry of credit alerts reaching pensioners far and wide, signaling the arrival of the long-awaited funds into their bank accounts.

Confirming this elating development, Comrade Chukwuemeka Irondi, the state Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), expressed gratitude to Governor Otti for honoring his commitment to the retirees.

“We supported him in the 2023 elections because of his promise to settle the pension arrears. Governor Alex Otti is a dependable leader who genuinely cares for the welfare of pensioners and the people of Abia,” Irondi praised.

Though the exact sum received by retirees was yet to be fully confirmed, Chief Emeka Okezie, Coordinator of the Concerned Abia Pensioners (CAP), disclosed that payments had commenced even before Otti’s announcement, with varying amounts disbursed.

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“I have received mine, and many others have too. Some received N1.3 million, others N1.7 million, and some even more,” Okezie revealed.

In a marked shift from the neglect experienced under the previous administration, Okezie announced plans for a solidarity march to express gratitude to Governor Otti for wiping away the bitter tears of Abia pensioners.

Governor Otti, despite facing unexpected challenges during the verification process, renewed his pledge to clear the pension arrears, reassuring retirees that their dues would be settled by the end of March 2024, restoring dignity and hope to those who had suffered for too long.

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