The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Abia, Dr. Alex Otti, barely managed to control his emotion when an aged and infirmed blind pensioner played back a victory song she had composed for him.
The highly emotional sight played out on Tuesday inside a Presbyterian Church at Ebem, Ohafia, Arochukwu Ohafia Local Government Area, venue of a meeting between Otti and pensioners from the area, numbering over 1,000.
It was the first of a two-day tour of the LGA by the LP governorship candidate, highly favoured to win the March 11, 2023 election.
Mrs. Nwanyi Ukwa, assisted by the master of ceremonies (MC), played back the song she had composed articulating the plight of pensioners in the hands of insensitive Abia government, led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Otti, who had understated the period of indebtedness to the pensioners, was taken aback when the retired civil servants almost in unison chorused that the government was owing them 56 months arrears of their pension.
The top banker and renowned economist restated his earlier promise to pay off all outstanding salaries and pensions owed by Abia government when he assumes office in May, before the end of December 2023.
He praised the elderly citizens for remaining patient and hopeful despite frustrations by the government and its agents, assuring them that help is on the way.
“Don’t be afraid. We will pay all of you. I have already said that my government, the Labour Party government that I will lead, come May 29, will pay all outstanding salaries, pensions and gratuities before the end of December 2023. That’s one of the first things we will do when we take over,” Otti assured them.
To immediately demonstrate his empathy for the plight of the aged, Otti released an undisclosed “handsome” sum of money to be shared equally among the pensioners.