Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government has refuted media reports that 20 pensioners in the state died during the pensioners’ verification exercise in the State.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners in Bauchi State Alhaji Abu Gar, had, last Tuesday, in an interview with journalists in Bauchi, disclosed that 20 of their members have so far died while undergoing the pensioners’ verification exercise.
Gar said that the Union was worried over the death of her members.
But, in a statement issued in Bauchi, weekend, the Press Secretary to the Bauchi State Governor, Abubakar AL-Sadique, described the report as a “negative media campaign” targeted towards tarnishing the image of the government.
He said that the “negative media campaign” was aired during a discussion programme last Thursday in the Television Continental (TVC).
“In its discussion programme, ‘Journalists’ Hangout’ of Thursday 12th, 2016, TVC had a promo explaining the issues to be discussed which included the allegation that 20 pensioners died during verification exercise in Bauchi State.
“What baffles us such that no where in the programme was anything relating to the alleged death of Pensioners mentioned”, the statement added.
The Press Secretary challenged the public to bring proof of the details of any of the deceased saying that since the commencement of the exercise, no life has been lost.
“I challenge anybody having proof to substantiate his claim with facts and details of those who lost their lives because, since the commencement of the verification exercise for workers and pensioners, nobody lost his life.
“The mere mention of this an issue to be discussed without substantiating it gives away the thing as another piece of hatchet job done to blackmail the state government into submitting to the whims and caprices of agents of doom”, the Press Secretary added.