A faction of Abia Pensioners under the aiges of “Abia Concerned Pensioners” have absolved the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Aham Uko of any wrong doing noting that the embattled he was not privy to their arrests contrary to the rumour making the rounds.
The Concerned Pensioners disclosed this to correct an impression gaining grounds that the soft spoken Finance Commissioner instigated their arrests last Thursday in Umuahia.
It would be recalled that Police in Abia state arrested Pensioners who were protesting within the streets of Umuahia for alleged unlawful Assembly and protest.
A section of the media had reported that Abia Commissioner for Finance, Dr Aham Uko was behind the arrest shortly after meeting with him in his office but Abia Concerned Pensioners have rose in defense saying that there was no iota of truth to that effect.
The group of Pensioners were said to have been out to create impression that contrary to posturing of Dr Uko as one of the finest gentlemen in Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s cabinet in character and competence on the job,reverse were the case in order to paint him black before the public.
Speaking in an interview with Blueprint, the Secretary of Abia Concerned Pensioners Chief Emeka Okezie and one of the leaders of the group Kalu John.
however said that the Commissioner for finance was privy to their arrests by police as reported by the media houses that cannot cross check before running to the press.
Secretary of the group, Mr. Okezie and John said they never visited or met with Uko as reported in the media.
According to pensioners, they said they applied to the Commissioner of Police for Police permission to enable them embark on peaceful protest like before, adding that they were however invited by the Police. “So when we got to the office of the commissioner of Police following the invitation we did not meet anybody and we were asked to make statement and from there we were taken to the Central Police Station Umuahia and detained”, they disclosed to Flo FM.
The leaders of the Concerned Abia Pensioners, said they never went to the office of Dr Uko or met with him as reported in the press, describing the report as misleading. They explained that they will not implicate the Abia Finance Commissioner because he knows nothing about their arrest by the Police.
The group appealed to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu whom they described as a good man to intervene in the plight of pensioners and ensure they are paid their backlog of pension arrears.
Mr Okezie said the concerned Abia Pensioners is an offshoot of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, Abia state.
He disclosed that they formed the group as a cooperative society after the NUP shut them out of its elections not before they have purchased the nomination forms.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Aham Uko told our Correspondent that he was surprised why they should link him with such a,blackmail he was even in the office,talk less of holding meeting with the said pensioners.
He added that he is not detered by those who want to pull down because of his resolve to pay workers and Pensioners as at when due,adding as he speaks,pensioner would receive their pension this week.
Dr Aham Uko however called on media to ensure it balances their stories before rushing to the press as doing so is the hallmark of sound and responsible journalism.