A retired Permanent Secretary in Ogun State, Abiodun Awere, has begged Governor Dapo Abiodun to pay his gratuity after his voluntary retirement, due to his health condition, saying that he needs the money to take care of himself.
Awere, who left service a few months ago, made the appeal in a letter sent to the Chief of Staff to the Governor and Secretary to the State Government, adding that the payment became necessary to avoid untimely death.
He said his condition, which requires urgent attention, involves surgical operations on his eyes. He added that he is also nursing diabetes and high blood pressure.
“Sir, each day I look back at my loss while in service, l feel devastated, but also quickly thank the Almighty Allah for sparing my life and making me a Permanent Secretary in Ogun State. After all, when there is life, there is hope,” he said.
Awere said despite his loyalty while in office, he did not enjoy the rights and privileges attached to office as Permanent Secretary.
‘However, kindly permit me to note this, sir: there are Privileges and Rights attaching to the position of a Head of Service or Permanent Secretary such as official car, robe allowance, furniture allowance, leave bonus and immediate payment of gratuity upon retirement,” he said.
“I humbly wish to state that l have not benefited in any of these despite the loyalty and dedication to the two principals and Government for almost 3 years as a Permanent Secretary in the State.
‘With due respect sir, l recall various deep nights, between 1a.m — 2 a.m on constant occasions, that l would be called upon to salvage various government assignments and without any hesitation, l usually rose to the occasion despite strings of dangers attached to working late and at such time. Of course, I always consider it as a dedication to duty, loyalty, respect, and passion for my work.”
He said he lost his personal vehicle in the line of duty, on his way to Igbesa.
“That day, l abandoned my vehicle at Ota Tollgate to join Okada in other to avoid traffic for the timely delivery of the programme brochure assigned to me to salvage at 1 a.m. for the 10 a.m. event.
“Lo and behold, by the time I returned to the spot where I abandoned my car, it had been stolen, and not found till date.”
He said he never personally benefitted from the printing assignments he undertook, contrary to beliefs that he did because he didn’t own a printing machine.
“lt was just my passion as PS information that always propelled me to ensure that the assignment must not fail.
‘Sir, my heart bleeds when I discovered that after just few months of my retirement from service, official vehicles were allocated to the remaining Permanent Secretaries, including the new ones without consideration of our own labour, sacrifice and loss.
“Some who are aware of my efforts called me ‘Used and Dumped’ Permanent Secretary.”
Awere noted that he retired voluntarily on health grounds to enable him to travel abroad for his eye surgery.
“For those who don’t know, l have been combining and treating High Blood Pressure and Diabetes in the last 15 years with my official duty.
“For this, I wrote the government on compassionate ground to pay part of my gratuity for the operation with Doctor’s confirmation and recommendation, up till today, no response received.
“Government may be facing financial straits, notwithstanding, when the position of Permanent Secretary is considered as the highest representative of the Government in the Civil Service (apart from HoS), my personal sacrifice, as well as loss of a personal vehicle on assignment, I kindly appeal that you consider the allocation of a vehicle as a replacement of my personal car that got lost on official assignment.”