Bayelsa ​p​ensioners protest non-payment of arrears

Bayelsa government's retirees staging a peaceful protest in Yenagoa on Wednesday (23/12/15)

The Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Bayelsa Chapter, on Wednesday embarked on a peaceful protest at the government house in Yenagoa urging the state government to settle its four-month arrears.

The pensioners began their protest from St. Peter’s Primary School, Ovom, carrying placards with various inscriptions to drive home their demands.

Some of the inscriptions read: “Pensioners are dying every day; please pay us our gratuities; Dickson, be good to pensioners’’.

The Caretaker Committee Chairman, Bodi Amarah, said the protest was to call government’s attention in order to settle their four months pension arrears.

“We are not protesting for disorder but all we want from Bayelsa government is to pay us our four month arrears; we have serve the state and retired after the 35 years.

“Most of us do not have any other work doing for a livelihood; our children school fees is from that stipend, so, we want the state government to pay us.

“Our members are dying every day because the money is not regular; we have been denied our gratuity and harmonisation,” he said.

Tarigboro Happy-John, who retired as Director of Primary Research, Post Primary School Board in 2009, said the protest is necessary.

“Let the government pay us our money, we were paid last in August and what we are crying for now is four month arrears; let the benefits of our late colleagues been paid because we have done our 35 years meticulous service.

“Our pension is not negotiable or used for politics; let it been paid to us to enable us feed our family,’’ he said.

Talford Ongolo, Chief of Staff, Bayelsa Government House, who spoke on behalf of the state governor, Seriake Dickson, said government would soon address the matter.

Mr. Ongolo said “we are urging you to maintain peace and order for the betterment of the state.

“We want you to organise yourselves and let us go on a round table discussion because settling issues need to be on dialogue.

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