Ondo State retirees have protested the delay in the payment of their three months pension arrears and gratuities, lamenting that they are dying of starvation and frustration.
The retirees, who thronged the governor’s office on Tuesday under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, complained that they were owed three months arrears and 33 per cent increment in arrears in the last five years.
The retirees marched with placards bearing inscriptions such as “Pay Our 3 Months Arrears”, “We Are dying of Hunger and Starvation, Save Our Soul”, and “We Are Oil Producing State, Why Owe Us our Entitlements?”
The Chairman of NUP in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo, Akin Adubuola, said the pensioners had been abandoned in spite of their old age, and having served the government meritoriously.
“We appeal to the state government to come to the rescue of our members by paying them all their entitlements so as to put an end to problem of sudden death, prolonged sicknesses and suffering”, he said.
Another pensioner, Femi Odere, urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to show compassion on the retirees, who are dying of hunger and frustration.
“It is ungodly to maltreat the old folks in such a manner. We have served the government in all capacity with the best of our ability”, he said.
Responding to the retirees’ protest, the Special Adviser to the governor on Union Matters, Dayo Fadahunsi, told them that the delay in the payment of their allowances was as a result of the financial crisis currently experienced across the country.
He, however, said the state government was committed to the welfare of its citizens, especially pensioners, and promised to take up their matter with the governor.