What do you have to say about this? Hundreds of pensioners yesterday barricaded the entrance of the Benue State Government House in Makurdi to protest the non-payment of 25 months arrears of pension.
Mr. Peter Ikyado, the Chairman of the Concerned Pensioners,said the money was over N23 billion.
It is noted that the pensioners carried different placards with different inscriptions such as “Ortom, pay us our 25 months pension arrears and gratuities,” “Enough is enough,”
“Governor Ortom has been out of Benue State for three weeks in USA and Japan to spend pensioners’ money while pensioners are dying at home,” “God dey and He (God) shall be the judge in the case between Ortom and pensioners,” “President Muhamnadu Buhari, please come to the aid of Benue pensioners, we are dying in silence here in our country,” and “Create Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps for Pensioners in Benue due to the alarming deaths pensioners record on daily a basis as a result of the Benue pensioners inability to foot their hospital bills.”
It was noted that the angry pensioners, who marched from the High Level roundabout to Government House, carried sleeping mats with pillows and green leaves. They promised to continue to sleep at the gate of the Government House until they were paid.
The pensioners said within the period they were not paid, many of their members who were wallowing in penury and neglect had died, while those still living were finding it difficult to feed their families, pay school fees of their children and access medical treatment.
Speaking with journalists, Ikyado regretted that efforts by pensioners to prevail on government to pay outstanding pensions and gratuities had proven abortive
“as government has extended its segmentation payment at the local government level to the state, thereby instituting divide and rule system and disunity among the pensioners”.
Ikyado bemoaned the treatment meted out to them by government, saying the union “loses at least 27 members every week”.
“We held a meeting with the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, on Monday, September 2nd, 2019. He told us that the governor travelled to Abuja so we should wait for a month and we begged him to pay us just one month to feed our family.
“More than 27 pensioners die every week. So far, over 500 pensioners have died in the state due to poverty. We are prepared to stay and occupy the Government House until the governor comes back.”