State and local government retirees in Edo State have staged a peaceful protest over their unpaid pension arrears and gratuities.
The pensioners asked the state government to explain to them how it spent the series of bailout funds it received from the Federal Government which they claimed were meant to clear all outstanding payments being owed them.
They staged a peaceful protest at the Imaguero College in Benin City where top government officials converged for a seminar on private property protection law in the state.
Speaking, some pensioners decried that despite the promise made by Governor Godwin Obaseki during the Workers Day celebration that they would be paid before the end of June, nothing has yet happened and no explanation has been made for the continued delay.
One of the protest leaders, Mr Gabriel Osemwekhai expressed worry that state government has been silent about paying them.
He said: “The Edo State government has been receiving funds meant to pay we pensioners but refused to do the needful. We are now asking what the government diverted the money to?”
“During the Workers Day celebration, the governor promised us that we will be paid latest June but that is no longer the case. The worse is that no explanation from any quarters to tell us the true situation of things,” Osemwekhai added.
Another senior citizen who retired from the local government civil service, Mrs Judith Enabulele, pointed out that their worry was that the state government refused to address their issues.
She said: “As pensioners who retired from the local government, we are worried because when we approach the governor concerning our payment, he would refer us to the local government but when you go to the local government councils, you equally find out that there are no local government chairmen to talk to, so we are confused”.