Chairman of the Concerned Pensioners in Benue State, Peter Kyado, has confirmed the death of three members of the group.
Identifying the deceased, Kyado said they lost David Atserna from Ushongo Local Government Area last Wednesday; Joel Ijir from Oju Local Government on Friday and Kighir Wisdom from Gboko Local Government area of the state.
Kyado said the pensioners died in the struggle for payment of their allowances because they could not afford the money to pay for their drugs.
He said, “We are protesting the nonpayment of our pension and gratuity owed us by state government for 25 months. To worsen the matter, our members have started dying in the course of agitating to have their legitimate right granted unto them by law.”
“Just between Wednesday and Sunday (yesterday), we lost three of our members who were part and parcel of the protest we started last Wednesday. This is terrible and unimaginable. We don’t deserve this maltreatment by government of the day.”
“We are not deterred by the loss of our members, we will continue with our actions. The governor said he would pay just a fraction on Monday and so, we are waiting for him and if by Monday, our demands are not met, we will continue with the protest and the occupation of Government House.”
The Pensioners on Wednesday 04 September 2019 commenced a peaceful protest in front of the Government House, Makurdi over non-payment of their pension allowances and gratuities. The pensioners are protesting because the state government is owing them entitlements and gratuity for 25 months.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State met with the protesting pensioners on 06 September 2019 in front of the Government House Makurdi and promised to source for the sum of N611million to complete the payment for 2 months, April and May 2018 pensions, assuring the pensioners that the money will be paid latest by September 10.