May 22, 2024

Retired police officers storm NASS, protest over unpaid pensions


By Henry Umoru

RETIRED police officers, under the aegis of contributory pension scheme, yesterday stormed the National Assembly to protest several months of unpaid pensions by the federal government.

The retired police officers carried placards and stood by the Mopol gate entrance of the National Assembly, calling on the federal government to remove them from the contributory pension scheme.

Some of the placards read “NPF pension defrauding police retirees, SOS”, “Police officers are dying in penury under the contributory pension scheme”, and “CPS is a death sentence against police!”

Recall that in September 2021, retired officers from about 27 states stormed the National Assembly in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, demanding their pension payments.

The  retirees, representing various state chapters, however, lamented the severe hardships they faced due to the failure of the National Pension Commission to pay their entitlements.

Addressing journalists during the protest, the National Coordinator and a retired Superintendent of Police, Christopher Effiong, explained that they were at the National Assembly complex to let the world know that  their agitation had been with the legislature.

Offiong, who is also the chairman of Cross River State chapter of police retirees, explained that the agitation had been with the National Assembly for the past three years, saying “we agitated that we should be exempted from contributing pension scheme such as their counterparts from other security agencies like armed forces and other intelligence communities.

”This scheme has sent a lot of our retirees to the grave.  We have a bill here, bill to exit contributing pension scheme.   That bill had been here for over two years, it has passed first reading, second reading, we came here for public hearing, but till today, nothing is happening, not is done.

”If it is conspiracy by the Nigerian government to kill us, then let us die here. We are dying, we cannot feed our family.”

But in a swift reaction, the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Yinusa Akintunde, APC, Oyo Central, who addressed the protesters on behalf of the Senate,  disclosed that the National Assembly was currently holding a meeting with Police authorities to resolve the problem.