By Joan Nwagwu
The Federal Civil Service Pensioners (FCSP) says it has finally opted to pull out of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) over alleged denial of the branch’s rights and privileges.
The National Chairman of FCSP, Mr Omezi Sunday, disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Sunday said that the opting out became necessary over the lingering trade dispute between the FCSP and the NUP.
According to him, the protracted impasse is occasioned by the blatant refusal of the NUP to give a commensurate allocation of 55 per cent share of one per cent check-off dues accruals to the FCSP branch.
”However, in spite of the fact that the FCSP is particularly prominent in the scheme of the NUP, the union has ever remained resolved in denying the branch her rights and privileges.
“The national leadership of the NUP has been in total control of our branch ever since the inception of the union in 1978, both the unwholesome appropriation of her finances and unconstitutional usurpation of its functions,” he alleged.
He alleged that all these had been made possible as a result of the faulty constitution which they manipulate at their whims and caprices.
”It should be clearly stated that every other affiliate member collects its check-off dues from the source of payment and remits to the national headquarters of the union in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the union.
“But the case is not the same with the FCSP. This exceptional act of deprivation of rights and privileges of the branch calls for curious concern,” he said.
He added that careful scrutiny of the financial records of the union undoubtedly revealed the incontrovertible fact that the FCSP made the largest contribution to the coffers of the NUP.
The chairman also noted that it was unfortunate that personnel, who were employees and responsible for the administration of the NUP had persistently refused to pay check-off dues to FCSP over the years.
”But misappropriated it to the extent that when we demand our right, they conspired to muscle and intimidate us with criminal threats.
”This also culminated in the purported dissolution of the duly and constitutionally elected National Executive Committee (NEC) of the branch, ” he said.
He also noted that the accrued one percent check of dues from the recent release of N70 million as payment of pension arrears to beneficiaries by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) was yet to be paid to FCSP.
Sunday, therefore, noted that several official appeals had been made to NUP to resolve the issues but failed, while the matter had also been taken to the Ministry of Labour and Employment to address.
He, therefore, said that in the spirit of freedom of association, coupled with the deepening and persistent crisis in the NUP, which included alleged unwholesome misappropriation of funds and usurpation of the functions of the branch, among others.
”The entire membership of the FCSP has finally opted to pull out of the NUP, to form a full-fledged union on its own,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Bunmi Ogunkolade, NUP Spokesperson, while reacting to the issue, said members of the FCSP branch were aggrieved because they lost out in the power play.
Ogunkolade explained that they were part of the Executive that was purportedly dissolved at the 11th National Delegates Conference.
”These are just the disgruntled few, who lost out in the power play.
”They are the former Exco of the body that was dissolved by the National Delegates Conference for anti-union and have been replaced. They have no focus and can no longer speak for FCSP,” he said. (NAN)