By Anayo Okoli
UMUAHIA—Pensioners in Abia State, yesterday, protested non-payment of arrears of their pensions and gratuities, lamenting the death of most of their colleagues.
The protesters, who marched peacefully from the Sub-Treasury Office on School Road through Bende Road and Aba Road, took their protest to Government House, Umuahia.
The retired workers, who were guarded by the police, carried some placards which lamented and condemned the sufferings of their members due to non-payment of their pensions and gratuity.
Chairman of National Union of Pensioners, NUP, in the state, Comrade Chukwuma Udensi, who led the protest, said all efforts to see the governor in the past proved fruitless.
He said they decided to carry out the protest because they had been finding it very difficult to meet with the governor on the matter.
Udensi, who addressed his members before they embarked on the march, also said two ultimatums they gave the government expired without any person talking to them.
According to him, instead of meeting with them, the government paid them only one month.
“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,” Udensi said.
Addressing the protesters at Government House gate, Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr. Nkwa Chukwu, thanked them for their peaceful disposition and appealed to them to exercise patience. He assured that the government would attend to their needs.