Pensioners in Abia State have called on the state government to pay their arrears of pensions and gratuities, lamenting that many of them have died due to lack of money to meet their needs especially medical. The aggrieved pensioners who stormed Abia State Government House appealed to Governor Theodore Orji to ensure the payment of their arrears of pensions and gratuities, saying many of their colleagues had died out of frustration.
The pensioners, on the platform of Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NUP, Abia State chapter, marched from the Sub-Treasury Office on School road through Bende road and Aba roads to Government House.
According to them, all efforts made in the past to get the governor’s attention, had been futile.
The retired workers, who were guided by the police during the protest, displayed placards with various inscriptions conveying their plight, lamenting the sufferings of pensioners in the state due to non-payment of their pensions and gratuities.
State chairman of NUP, Chukwuma Ndubuisi Udensi, explained that they decided to protest because they had been finding difficult to meet with the governor.
Udensi who addressed his members before they embarked on the march, also lamented that two previous ultimatums issued to the government expired without response describing it as “very sad”.
According to him, instead of meeting with the pensioners the government paid them only one month.
He said “This kind of treatment has caused many of our members to die and if we continue to keep quiet it means sending more of our members to death.”
However, addressing the pensioners, the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr. Nkwachukwu Agomuo, thanked the pensioners for the peaceful way they handled their protest and appealed to them to exercise patience, assuring that the government would attend to their needs.