By Demola Akinyemi
Hundreds of pensioners under the aegis of Concerned pensioners of Kwara state stormed the streets of Ilorin Wednesday morning to protest the non-payment of their outstanding pension arrears of N1.68billion since 2008.
The aggrieved protesting pensioners who left their state secretariat, at Commissioners way, at GRA Ilorin with various placards such as,’’ We have lost over 300 pensioners in Kwara State since 2008’.
We are the real Arugbos, pay us our dues’,’ Treat pensioners with dignity’’, among others later went through the busy Challenge area of Ilorin to government house along Ahmadu Bello way, where they urged Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman to help retrieve their money.
According to the spokesman of the aggrieved pensioners,Comrade Abayomi Ajibola,’’We sincerely appeal to our highly esteemed Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman to bail out the real and original,’’Arugbos’’ in this our pitiable predicament by retrieving the ‘’Owo Arugbo’’ and pay us so that we can go to our graves in peace knowing fully well that these set of ‘’Arugbos’’ have laboured so hard to develop Kwara state created in 1967 when the likes of Abdulfatah Ahmed were still infants but had now plundered our dear state’’
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He also said that if government can claim to have built,’’Ile Arugbo’’ for people who have contributed nothing to the development of the state,why then would he withhold ‘’Owo Arugbos’’ money meant for people who have used the better parts of their lives to immensely develop the state’’
Ajibola in his address recalled that’’ Kwara state government agreed in 2008 to pay our outstanding pension arrears and gratuities[Owo Arugbo]. The deserving recipients are made up of 9030 accredited pensioners.”
He added that the government announced that it Would require N3.3B to defray the entire sum and approached some banks for a loan of N3.3B which was indeed approved and collected, only to turn their back at us by paying N1.68B representing 50% of the total sum and claimed that the remaining 50% will be used to develop infrastructure in the state’’
Ajibola also said that petitions were written on the matter to Economic and Financial Crime Commission[EFCC] while they also went to court, saying ’’We have been to the state high court, Appeal court, and the Supreme court, and now at the National Industrial Court in their bid to retrieve their money.