Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Pensioners in Benue State have launched a protest in Markurdi to push for the payment of their pension and gratuities with a vow to occupy the Government House until their 25 months pension arrears and gratuities are paid.
The pensioners were seen, yesterday, bearing placards and moving along the streets of Markurdi, while some of them carried mats to the gate of the Government House.
It would be recalled that last week, the senior citizens had issued notice to the Benue State government on the plan to embark on an indefinite protest on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
Chairman of the pensioners union, Peter Kyado, who spoke to newsmen during the protest, listed their demands to include the immediate payment of outstanding pension arrears, both at the state and local government levels, payment of the monthly pensions, a monthly release of N1billion for the payment of gratuities.
Some of the pensioners who spoke to newsmen said they came prepared with their sleeping materials as they had resolved to be sleeping at the Government House until their demands are met.
Mr. John Awodi, who said he retired in 2005 as a Director in the Ministry of Works, disclosed that he had been owed 19 months in pension and has not received gratuity since his retirement.
“We will be sleeping with the governor in Government House. After all, it is Benue People’s House,” said one of the protesters.