November 29, 2022

Primary school retirees protest in Delta

By Festus Ahon 

ASABA—AGRRIEVED retired primary school teachers in Delta State, yesterday, protested over non-payment of their pensions in the last eight years.

The protesters, who blocked the Government House gate, carrying placards with various inscriptions,  hindered free flow of traffic on the Asaba-Ugbolu road.

They sat on the tarred road at the Government House gate waiting for a word from the governor.

One of the retirees, Ismaila Isitua, who spoke with newsmen, said their pension obligation was the responsibility of the state government, explaining that they were employed in the 1980s by the state government.

Isitua  said there was no local government while they were in service, adding that their pension contributions went into the state account.

According to him, the N2.5 billion, which the state government recently released for the payment of local government retirees could only cover August 2015.

Mr Paul John, who also spoke, told Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to borrow money to offset pension arrears of retirees.

He said: “They should pay the retirees who retired over the years. The governor has been giving us fake promises, we need action.

“Our people are dying, some are in the hospitals and can’t pay for treatment. Is it now a crime to be a teacher and labour in serving your state for 35 years?

“Rather than have a hand shake after 35 years of commitment and diligent service, government is dismissing us with ignominy.”

The protesters said they would stage another protest on November 30 with coffins at the Government House gate if their issue was not looked into.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Fidelis Tilije, who attempted to address them, was not listened to. 

It would be recalled that the retirees protested last month.