Retired teachers in Anambra State have protested the nonpayment of their gratuities by the state government for four years.
The teachers called on the state government to pay the backlog of their gratuities which had accrued since 2017 before leaving office in March.
The angry retirees protested along the Teachers’ House Road, Awka, on Friday, carrying placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the placards read, “Obiano, pay us our pension and gratuity in line with the approved structure,” “Give us our arrears of pension,” “Our gratuities are our rights,” “Pay us now that we are alive,” and “Is it when we die that others will collect what we worked for?”
The spokesperson of the group, Mrs Victoria Maduka, who retired as a Zonal Director in 2018 from Ogidi zone, explained that many of them, including those who retired in 2017, were yet to receive any payment from the government having served for thirty-five years.
Maduka expressed regret that the situation had adversely affected them, as they struggled to eat, pay hospital and electricity bills as well as house rents and children’s school fees.
She said that it was unfortunate that despite the letter they wrote to the government three weeks ago, no response had been given to them as regards what was delaying their gratuities in the last four years.
According to her, though the tenure of the present administration would end in less than one month, they believed their emoluments could still be paid considering the efforts and sacrifices they had put in moving the state forward.
Another retiree, Mr. Raymond Achebe, while narrating the impact of the long denial of their monies on their families, appealed to the government to consider their plights and pay them.
The teachers lamented that they recently buried a deputy director, who died while waiting for the state government to pay her emoluments after 35 years of service.
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