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Retired Civil Servants Protest Unpaid Pension Arrears In Edo

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A group of retired civil servants on Monday, May 23, 2016 took to the streets to protest their unpaid pension arrears spanning between two and three years in Edo State.

Protesting under the auspices of the Concerned Edo Pensioners and Batchless Members, the aggrieved members described their fate as being worse than internally displaced persons.

They bore placards with different inscriptions urging the state government under Adams Oshiomhole to pay them the wages accrued them.

Among the messages on the placards were: “Comrade governor, why have you forsaken us?” ; “Pay us; it is our right – Timothy 5:18”; “Remember we all buy from the same market.”

They lamented that they were being owed two to three years of pension arrears, a situation which they said had made life difficult for them.

The group spokesperson, Mr. Gabriel Osemwenkha, lamented that it was not fair that after rendering selfless service under the commission, about 1,843 affected pensioners were still being owed pension arrears.

He said: “Pay us our outstanding pension arrears, spanning between two and three years, due to the abysmal and or deliberate failure of the state government to address our issue when it was expected to do so.”

Furthermore, Osemwenkha urged the state government to reconstitute the state pensions’ board to enable the affected pensioners to access and process their retirement papers “without any further delay” or make a policy statement defining the mode of regularising their retirement documents.

They took the protest to the state government house, where they were received by the Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon.

Idahor said: “What we are fighting for now is that everyone who has retired should be on the payroll. When you are on the payroll and you receive the payment at the end of every month, you will be satisfied. Then you will know that, God sparing your life, your gratuity will come.”

One of the protesters who chose to remain anonymous said: “At times, my children will be quarrelling; they say they cannot sustain me again, that I am deceiving them.

“They said that I am playing a trick because I don’t want to show them that I have been paid.”

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