Hundreds of pensioners in Edo State, on Monday, defied the heavy down pour and took to the streets to protest arrears of pension ranging from 10 to 42months.
The claimed that nine of their members had died in the last seven months including the immediate past Chairman of the Union.
The pensioners, armed with placards of various inscriptions, protested to the Edo Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Spokesman of the pensioners, Mr Gabriel Osemwenkhai, regretted that pensioners in the state have been visited with hardship over nonpayment of their pension and gratuity.
He noted that many of the pensioners had died as a result of this hardship.
Osemwenkhai, who said these pensioners comprised of public servants who retired since 2011, denied the claim by the state government that it does not owe any state retirees.
The pensioners also alleged that the state government has refused to commence payment of pensions with effect from the date of retirement as stipulated in Civil Service Pension Law.
He said the government’s refusal to adhere to the pension law has left a backlog of arrears owed to pensioners in the state.
He noted that their problem was further compounded with the dissolution of the state Pension Board.
“At the moment, public servants retiring since the dissolution of the board are again stranded due to government delay in processing their retirement papers, over six months after their names have been removed from civil servant payroll.
“Rather than creating avenue for retirees to process their pension papers, government has left this category of senior citizens in limbo,” he stated.
In his response, the Chairman of the NUJ, Edo council, Sir Roland Osakue said the union share in their pains and challenges.
He appealed to them to remain peaceful in their protest, promising that members of the union will use their various media outfits to let the authority know their plight.