By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Tragedy was averted weekend as three unidentified aged pensioners slumped during the verification exercise organised by the Lagos State Local Government Pension Board, for pensioners. The incident which temporarily halted the verification exercise occurred when the pensioners were struggling to submit their forms to government officials for verification. The exercise which took place at the old Lagos Secretariat, adjacent the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja, attracted hundreds of elderly persons in their 70s and 80s.
Some of the fragile looking pensioners were assisted to the venue on wheelchairs while some of came with walking aids. The canopies provided by the Board as shelter, were not enough for the hundreds of pensioners who trooped out for the exercise. The long wait during the verification coupled with inadequate arrangement by the organisers who appeared not to be organised were said to have worsened the situation, forcing the three affected elderly pensioners to lose consciousness.
It was gathered that the affected pensioners were hurriedly rushed into a waiting ambulance provided by the state government for first aid attention. One of the nurses at the Lagos State Ambulance Services(LASAMBUS), who spoke under condition of anonymity told our correspondent that the first two pensioners who collapsed were rushed to one of the hospitals in the neighborhood but were rejected due to inadequate facilities while the other was admitted in a nearby private hospital. It was later gathered that after receiving medical attention, the pensioners were discharged to their families.