The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, in Bayelsa at the weekend refutes the public announcement that, the body had endorsed the candidature of All Progressive Congress, APC, Chief Timipre Sylva for the forthcoming December 5 governorship election.
Comrade Actor Zal, Union’s National Secretary made the remark while addressing newsmen in Yenagoa, saying that the union is non-partisan and therefore not biased to any political party.
Recalling, the Association of Bayelsa Pensioners’ Coordinator, Chief Bodise Amara, said, though they were not out to campaign for any candidate, the present administration of Governor Seriake Dickson had failed the retirees with a pension gratuity debt of over N20bn and unpaid pension arrears of four months, and will vote for any candidate that will heed to their plight.
Zal, who was represented by his Senior Assistant, Mr. Bunmi Ogunkolade urged members in Bayelsa to avoid playing politics with their welfare.
“The attention of NUP, National Headquarters has been drawn to the announcement on media by the Caretaker Committee of the Bayelsa Chapter of our Union on the forthcoming governorship poll.
“We want to state unequivocally that the announcement on social media and some national media is unauthorised and unapproved by the National authority of the Union.
“We want to put it on record that the Bayelsa Council of our Union as presently constituted, lacks the capacity to speak on behalf of the entire pensioners in the state as they are in a caretaker capacity, whose term of reference is just to organise the substantive election into the state council within specific time frame.
“Against this backdrop, we wish to categorically state that NUP is not a political party and therefore, non-partisan; our major concern is the welfare of our members.
“While we are not against the aspiration of anyone, it is equally not within our reach to determine who get what, where and when even as the state prepares for it election.
“Therefore, whoever made such an unwarranted and unguarded announcement either on radio, television or via any social media network to declare and direct Bayelsa pensioners to vote for any candidate in the forthcoming election does so in error.
“It is not the decision of the union, neither does it represent the Union position in anyway; such directive should, therefore be ignored and discountenanced by all pensioners in Bayelsa.
“In fact, we direct every pensioner in Bayelsa to vote their conscience by voting for the party, where their welfare will be guaranteed,” he said.
Mr. Degi Wangagha expressed dissatisfaction over the announcement, saying that union was not in support of any political party in the state.
According to Wangagha, “I was surprised with the news from various media.
“Bayelsa Chapter of NUP is also refuting such announcement that we have endorsed the APC candidate, Timipre Sylva.

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