Pensioners in Ogun State have again stormed the Governor’s office in Oke Mosan to disrupt government activities by locking the main gate into the State Secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The pensioners, under the umbrella of the Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria (LOGPAN), have been protesting for months, the non-payment of their 10 years outstanding N68 billion gratuities.
It would be recalled that the pensioners have protested over their unpaid gratuity three times in about four months.
In September, they blocked the two main gates of the secretariat leading to the seat of power in the state.
Also in June, the pensioners clashed with some security agents who shut them out of the state secretariat when they were advancing towards the Governor’s office, as part of their protests against delayed gratuities.
The retirees staged another protest on Thursday and this time, they demanded an audience with Governor Dapo Abiodun.
After overwhelming the security agents at the gate, the protesters took over the entrance, preventing the entrance and exit of anyone.
The new State Head of Service, Nafiu Aigoro, led the state officials to appeal to the aggrieved protesting senior civil servants.
Speaking with them, Mr Aigoro promised that they (government) will ensure a good life for them, despite numerous challenges currently being faced by the government.
The Head of Service also told them that the current administration “was not ignorant of their plight”.
“This government will always prioritise the welfare of the pensioners and ensure regular payment of their pensions despite the dwindling financial situation being witnessed in the state and the country at large,” he said.
Mr Aigoro, who is just about three days in office, also promised to organise a meeting between the governor and the local government retirees within a few weeks.
“Within the next couple of weeks, we would get an audience with the governor to resolve all outstanding issues,” he said, adding that “as a promise-keeping administration, no stone will be left unturned to ensure workers and pensioners wellbeing and welfare.”
Responding, the State Chairman of the Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria (LOGPAN) Sikiru Ayilara, appealed to the state government to find a lasting solution to the payment of monthly pensions, gratuities, review of monthly pensions, and the resuscitation of Board of Bureau of Local Government Pensions, amongst others.
He also noted that although the government had made efforts by releasing N500 million quarterly, “that won’t be enough until the governor meets pensioners to discuss some issues including the increase in the monthly pension”.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...