The Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has issued a stark warning, declaring their intention to stage naked protests if significant improvements in their welfare are not promptly addressed.
National President of NUP, Godwin Abumusi, conveyed this ultimatum during a news briefing in Abuja on Friday, February 9, 2024, emphasizing the urgent need to draw global attention to the plight of pensioners in the country.
Abumusi asserted, “I am going to lead Nigerian pensioners naked… When we are going to protest, we are going to go naked on the street so that the world will see the pensioners in Nigeria are demonstrating naked. If they like, they will arrest us and say, ‘Why did you go naked on the streets?’”
The grievances of pensioners stem from enduring delays in pension payments and meager monthly stipends, which they argue are insufficient to cover basic needs. The recent surge in living costs, propelled by the removal of petrol subsidies and the fluctuation of the naira, has further exacerbated their predicament.
Expressing deep frustration, Abumusi lamented, “In Nigeria, governments don’t think about the poor people. They only think about themselves. Otherwise, how can a pensioner in Enugu receive as low as N450? How can this be?”
In response to their dire circumstances, the NUP President demanded a comprehensive review of the national minimum pension, aligning with proposed wage revisions for workers by the Federal Government. Abumusi proposed a minimum pension of N100,000, echoing the NLC’s call for a N200,000 minimum wage. He cautioned that anything short of this adjustment would provoke the ire of pensioners grappling with the harsh economic realities.
The stark warning from Nigerian pensioners underscores the urgency for authorities to address the pressing welfare concerns facing this vulnerable segment of the population. Failure to act decisively may result in unprecedented protests that could amplify their demands on a global scale.