Pay my gratuity before I die, 70-year- old retiree begs Akeredolu

A septuagenarian retiree of Owena Press Limited and veteran journalist who worked at The Hope newspaper, Japheth Ogundojutimi, has passionately pleaded with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the newspaper management to ensure the payment of his gratuity after eight years of retirement.

Ogundojutimi channeled his appeal to the governor through an open letter that was made available to newsmen in Akure and copied the state Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo and other stakeholders.

The veteran was a photojournalist for many years at The Hope newspaper before he retired.

The 72-year-old indigene of Idanre stated in the letter that he was forced to resort to an open letter because of the pangs of poverty and inability to buy his needed medications and other commitments.

He apologised to Governor Akeredolu for choosing to write an open letter to him, adding that the open letter was meant to remind the governor of an earlier one written to him on the payment of his gratuity and that of fellow retirees in the state that were in his position.

The open letter reads in part; “This letter is meant to remind Your Excellency of our earlier letter and appeal to pay our gratuity. I, therefore, apologise for taking this route of writing an open letter to you.

“It was informed by the saying that when a man – an old man for that matter – is hungry, he resorts to desperate measures. Sir, I retired as a chief photographer with The Hope newspapers some eight years ago, but I’m yet to be paid my entitlements. I am in my seventies (70s).”

He recalled how he and his fellow retirees wrote a joint letter to Governor Akeredolu in May last year with the hope that he would address their issue but to no avail.

He also appealed to Akeredolu to emulate his two predecessors, Dr. Olusegun Agagu and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko that thought it necessary to clear the backlog of gratuity owed the retirees of Owena Press.

“For the record, sir, the governments of Dr Olusegun Agagu and Dr Olusegun Mimiko, respectively cleared the arrears of gratuity of the company when they came on board. I am, therefore, appealing to you, sir, to bail me out of the poverty, lack and want that have become my lot since retiring from Owena Press Limited”.

Meanwhile, Ogundojutimi has also appealed to Governor Akeredolu to rescue him from a dehumanising life that has made him to often beg for food and money at his old age.

 “It is dehumanising, to say the least, for a septuagenarian to go cap-in-hand begging for food and money to buy needed drugs to sustain his failing health and attend to other personal and family needs.”

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