Ogun State pensioners under the aegis of the Local Government Pensioners Association, stormed Ogun State secretariat complex as early as 8am to protest the alleged refusal of Governor Dapo Abiodun administration to pay their gratuities. The pensioners carrying placards with various inscriptions were able to pass the first gate but they were however stopped at the second gate by security agents. The pensioners said they resulted to protest because of the backlog of their unpaid gratuities and they will not leave the governor’s office until their demands are met.
The state Chairman of the LGPA, Sikiru Ayilara said, “we wanted to stage a peaceful protest and we introduced ourselves to the security agents; we didn’t have cutlasses and we didn’t have ordinary stick in our hands; we just wanted to make the people to know the treatment being meted to us as pensioners in this state. The suffering we are experiencing from this and the previous administration is too much.”
He accused the state government of playing dangerously with the lives of the members by refusing to pay their gratuities on time. The association insisted that the quarterly payment of N500m by Abiodun, which by calculation would take 34 years to clear all the gratuities, was unacceptable. The pensioners called for the review of the policy by voting N1bn monthly for the settlement of gratuities.
The pensioners were later addressed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi. Talabi said, “we want you to be patient with us, you will recall that when we started paying what we agreed to pay, we started paying from 2011 to 2014, we didn’t pay from 2019, the year we came in, and we all know what the country is saying now when it comes to money, we are promising you that with time, we will do more concerning what we agreed to be paying.”
“We just have to be realistic with ourselves, the money cannot be paid at once or the way you want it, but if you are patient, it can be sorted out; we just have to be patient, because we are just two years in government and we have to touch some sectors of the economy like road infrastructure, so that we can get money to do things.”
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