About 500 pensioners who retired from the public service of the Edo State government, on Monday took to the street in protest of 42 months pension arrears, saying “our conditions are worse than that of the internally displaced persons, IDPs.
They said most of them who retired from the service between 2013 and 2016, were yet to be paid their gratuity, and monthly stipends.
They displayed banners with various inscription, such as, “Edo pensioners are more displaced internally than the IDPs” while calling on the Adams Oshiomhole led administration to constitute the state pensions board.
Spokesman of the pensioners, Mr Gabriel Osemwenkha, said as a result of non-payment of their gratuity and pensions, they find it difficult to cope with the current economy reality.
He noted that while some have died in the process, others find it difficult to send their children to school.
“We appeal to our Royal Fathers, Politicians, elder statesmen, mothers, the clergy and all well-meaning citizens of the state to prevail on the state Governor to pay arrears of pension entitlements to over one thousand deprived pensioners.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the state government had delayed the payment of arrears of pension ranging from 10 to 42 months as a result of which pensioners have been groaning in penury and pains.
“Contrary to claims that the government does now owe state retirees, the government has refused to commence payment of pension with effect from the date of retirement as stipulated in civil service pension law,” he stated.
The Edo NUJ chairman, Mr Roland Osakwe who received the pensioners, urged them to be calm as they go about with their protest.