Yesterday, pensioners in Ogun State closed down the governor’s office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, to protest against non-payment of N68 billion, which is a 10 years outstanding gratuity.
The Guardian reports that the retirees, under the aegis of Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPAN), obstructed the two main gates to the Governor’s Office Secretariat, deterring the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi and other civil servants from gaining entrance for over four hours.
Nexus News gathered that the protesters, armed with placards with inscriptions such as “Gratuities are on sales to pensioners”, “Governor Dapo Abiodun, honour your father and treat pensioners well” and “Governor Abiodun, we don’t deserve this worst humiliation”, among others, accused the governor of failing to keep his promises to the pensioners.
Sikiru Ayilara, the State Chairman of LOGPAN, who spoke to journalists at the venue of the protest, groaned that some of the retirees still earn N3,000 as monthly pension.
According to Ayilara, the quarterly payment of N500 million by the governor which would take 34 years to clear all the gratuities is “a wicked act” and unacceptable.
He encouraged the review of the policy by voting N1 billion monthly instead of N500 million quarterly.
Ayilara said the association had written 13 letters to the governor asking his audience to attend to their needs, “but the governor has remained recalcitrant and unyielding to their demands.”
He mentioned some of their demands to comprise non-payment of gratuities, lateness in pensions payment, non-increase in the monthly pensions and bias against members of the association by the government.
He maintained that it is unlawful for the state government to be paying their pensions through the Ministry of Finance instead of the Bureau of Local Government Pensions.
In response this, the SSG appealed to the retirees to be more patient with the government, saying: “The government is currently experiencing hard times.”
He ascertained that the government would look into their demands.