Benue Pensioners decry losing wives to okada riders, ENigeria Newspaper reports.
Pensioners in Benue state marched peacefully under the banner of Aggrieved Pensioners to protest 34 and 74 months of pension and gratuity arrears owed to them at the state and local government levels, respectively.
The aggrieved pensioners who took off from Ken Ville Park, High Level area of Makurdi, went round the city center chanting solidarity songs, photographs obtained by ENigeria Newspaper suggests.
Why Benue Pensioners decry losing wives to okada riders
The Benue pensioners decry losing wives to okada riders. “All We Are Saying, Mr Governor, Give Us Our Pension And Gratuity,” “Mr Governor, Defender of Benue Valley, Please Defend Us Pensioners Too Or We Will Die Finish,” and “Mr Governor, Pay Us Our Pension And Gratuities.” We, too, require financial assistance to eat,” among other things.
Mr. Akosu Ugba, the group’s chairman, led members around town, telling journalists that they are having a peaceful protest to demand pay and to let the rest of the world know what they are going through.
“We’ve assembled to inform the rest of the world about what’s going on with us. We want the world to know that we are hungry and have been treated badly.”
“What is happening to us is inhumanity to humanity,” Ugba said, describing their nonpayment as horrible. At the state and municipal government levels, we have not been paid for 34 and 74 months, respectively.
“We can no longer afford to send our children to school because we cannot afford their school fees.” Because we are no longer economically active, we have lost our wives to okada people. There is nothing we can do.
Some of our people are dying because they are on particular drugs or diets that they can no longer afford.”
According to the Chairman, Benue pensioners are dying quietly as a result of inhumane treatment and the resulting psychological stress, with over 500 members having died so far.
“When we protested previously, we went to the government house, but the speaker, Titus Uba, told us that the bailout money granted by the federal government did not pay pensions.” We stayed for seven days and seven nights until being chased away by goons.”
As a result, he demanded that the state government pay their 34-month and 74-month arrears at the state and local government levels, respectively, saying:
“Now that the Paris Club return has been issued concurrently with the government allotment, they should pay us six months out of the 32 and 74 months outstanding to alleviate our pain and stabilize us, and then pay us two months in a row until the arrears are settled.” This is what we want.”
When pensioners protested in 2019, state Governor Samuel Ortom urged with them to be patient with his administration, saying that it will find a way to pay off their debts.
He has, however, adopted the PENCOM Law, allowing the government to pay the state’s pension arrears.