Pensioners, who retired from the Edo State public service, Monday, took to the streets, protesting the non-payment of 42 month pension arrears by the state government.
The pensioners, numbering over 500, lamented their situation, saying “our conditions are worse than that of the internally displaced persons, IDPs”.
The protesters, who went round major roads in Benin and ended up at the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), press centre, said most of them who retired from the service between 2013 and 2016, were yet to be paid their gratuity, and monthly stipends, urging the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole to constitute the state pension board.
The spokesman of the group, Mr Gabriel Osemwenkha, said as a result of non-payment of their gratuity and pensions, the pensioners have found it difficult to cope with economy reality and that they have been unable 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 not 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.
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