Pensioners in Imo state besieged the Imo State government on Tuesday demanding their full pension arrears and lamenting on the way they were turned back the previous time they were at the Government house.
They also blocked some roads in Owerri, the Imo State capital, in protest against their unpaid pensions and gratuities.
They appealed to Governor Hope Uzodinma to consider the plight and pay them without further delay, just as they cursed those preventing them from receiving their gratuity and pensions.
Their placards bore various inscription as: “We Are Dying, Please Governor Uzodinma Pay Us, We Can No Longer Allow This To Linger; We Must Eat The Same Way You Eat With Tax Payers’ Money and We Urge The Entire World To Intervene And Save Us From Further Deaths.”
The Secretary to the State Government, Cosmas Iwu, had promised the pensioners that the state government would commence the payment of the pensions and gratuities before last Friday.
But the government’s inability to commence the payment made the senior citizens to take to the streets on Tuesday.
The Secretary of the Pension Intervention Committee of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Imo State chapter, Maurice Amaechi, who addressed journalists, said the retirees were protesting again to compel the governor to pay their entitlements.
Amaechi said, “We were here the last time and they acted some Nollywood movies for us, but we are back now to act our own Nollywood movies”
“These children who are treating us this way, we trained them with our money, but now that it is our turn to relax and enjoy our money, they are playing politics with it”
“Whoever is playing politics with our money, God will play politics with his life”
“We, the Imo pensioners, are here again to tell Governor Hope Uzodinmma to pay us our money. It is our money and it is not a gift. Last week Tuesday, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, said we would be paid last Friday, but the Commissioner for Information later said on the radio that the government did not owe any pensioner. It was then that we knew that the governor was playing games with us.
“We are giving the governor seven days to pay us our four-month arrears, and if we are not paid, he should expect us again.”
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK