Three retirees collapsed on Tuesday in Bayelsa State while queuing at the state capital, Yenagoa, for payment of their eight-month pension, witnesses and an official said.
Jane Aleke, chairperson of the Bayelsa Pension Board, who was supervising the exercise when the incident happened, confirmed the development.
She said the three pensioners were rushed to the Government House clinic and were receiving medical attention.
Mrs. Aleke said the verification was not to inconvenience the retirees but to enable the state have the actual figure of pensioners.
She appealed to the retirees to be calm and promised that every pensioner in the state would be captured in the exercise.
“This is about management of wealth and you know in paying them, the state government cannot just begin to pay with a guess work or estimated numbers, we cannot do that as a government.
“We are ready to reach all the local governments in the state; we have started with Yenagoa; for those of them, who are sick and cannot walk, we will definitely go to their houses,” she said.
Some of the aggrieved retirees condemned the exercise which they described as too tedious and burdensome.
“This treatment being meted to pensioners is inhumane and despicable and at the same time insensitive,” Ebikake Davies, one of the pensioners, lamented.
“Indeed it is diversionary, we want our monies, it is the same people in government that aided the so-called ghost pensioners, we are not against verification but for God’s sake they have owed us for eight months.
“There should be a sense of urgency, we are not begging for charity, we have sacrificed our youthful years they should just pay us.”
The pensioners had staged a peaceful protest in February 2016 to demand their pension already owed for four months. They were dispersed by pro-government youth.
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