It was drama in Ogun State yesterday as angry pensioners on Thursday locked up the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Adewale Oshinowo, in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital.
According to Vanguard, the pensioners were protesting over the failure of the state government to pay two months pensions of local government retirees. After storming the office complex in the morning, the protesters under the aegis of Association of Local Government Pensioners immediately blocked the two entrances leading to the office.
In the ensuing melee, workers at the Ministry of Finance and others were prevented from gaining access to their offices and departments and those inside were stopped from coming out.
However, it was alleged by the chairman, Sikiru Ayilara, that the finance commissioner had earlier sneaked out of the office of the Accountant-General of the state in attempt to avoid them.
The pensioners claimed that no fewer than 60 members of the association had died in the last two months.
Osinowo who later appeared to the pensioners after about 30 minutes of laying siege in his office immediately went into a close door meeting with the leadership of the union which lasted for about an hour.
Newsmen and other members of the union were however barred from the meeting held at the Ministry’s conference room. During the meeting, two of the protesting pensioners slumped but, were later revived by their colleagues some of whom rushed out of the meeting.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Osinowo attributed the delay in payment of May, 2016 pensions to communication gap between the ministry and the pensioners.
He explained that the money had been paid by the government to the bank handling the account but that the bank has failed to credit the bureau of local government.
Osinowo however promised not to leave his office yesterday until the bank complied with the directive to pay the pensioners within six hours.