Abia pensioners protest non-payment of benefits

Photo: cpj.org

Government has been insensitive to us, the pensioners said.

Pensioners in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, on Tuesday in Umuahia, staged a peaceful protest over the non-payment of their benefits by the State Government.

The pensioners, who were about 100, with green leaves in their hands, trekked from the Sub-Treasury along Bende Road to the Government House, Umuahia, chanting war songs.

The spokesperson of the pensioners, Mba Udo, said the protest was embarked on to register their displeasure over the insensitivity of government to their plight.

He said the government is not consistent in the payment of the pensions and the former staff were owed four months arrears.

“What we see in Abia is selective payment of pensions. While some of our colleagues are owed four months arrears, other are owed more than that,” he said.

Another spokesperson, Nnennaya Oriaku, said that it is regretful that even when their entitlements are meagre, the government is not willing to pay them.

“We are calling on the government to pay us all our outstanding pension arrears,” she said.

She said that it was unfortunate that having served the government with all sincerity, they were now neglected at their old age and left to die ‘hopelessly.’

Mrs. Oriaku said that those of them who retired from 2000 till date were yet to receive their gratuities from the government.

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