Pensioners under the umbrella of Abia Concerned Pensioners protested and prayed over unpaid pension and gratuities owed them, on Thursday 29 August 2019.
The pensioners in a statement signed by their chairman, Amaugo Daniel and secretary, Okezie Emeka, expressed their grievances over the arrears owed them.
They claimed to be owed backlog of pension arrears over a period of 32 months from 2014 till date. The pensioners also said that they are owed gratuity for 19 years, and non-harmonisation of pensions from 1998 to 2010. The pensioners who were clad in black chanted solidarity songs and lamented that the least paid pensioner in the state receives N500 monthly.
Below is part of the statement from the pensioners;
“We have been dehumanized and subjected to unimaginable deaths, chronic sicknesses and unfulfilled promises by the state government.”
“That is why we embarked on a statewide prayer summit/protest to inform Abians and the world, in general, of the inhuman treatment we are facing since 1998 to 2019.”
To find a lasting solution to the pensioners issues, Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State recently set up a committee headed by the state Head of Service, Onyii Wamah, to come up with modalities for complete settlement of outstanding workers’ salaries, pensions, and gratuities and end a future re occurrence.
The governor also pleaded with the pensioners and other workers in the state to be patient with him over the pensions and salaries owed them during a statewide broadcast to mark the 28th anniversary of the creation of the state on 27 August 2019. He promised the pensioners and workers that his administration was taking steps to pay them even though Governor Ikpeazu’s government inherited part of the arrears from the previous administration in the state.