Pensioners in Ogun State, yesterday protested against the nonpayment of their 12 years’ gratuities estimated at N68billion by the state government. The senior citizens, under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), described Governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration as an “enemy of pensioners” over his failed promises to alleviate their sufferings through prompt payment of their gratuities and other entitlements. The pensioners, armed with placards with various inscriptions marched from their secretariat in Leme area of Abeokuta, the state capital to the governor’s office in Oke-Mosan, chanting anti-government songs to register their grievances.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “Governor Dapo Abiodun, you should know that pensioners slaved, hence they deserve better treatment from the government”, Mr. Governor why did you disobey your father’s in-structions to cater for pensioners?” “Governor Dapo Abiodun stop paying lip service to the rights of the senior citizens in the state,” “Mr. Governor address unpaid arrears of 12 years gratuities now”! and “Mr. Governor has been nonchalant to the plights of Ogun pensioners”. Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the chairman of NUP, Comrade Waheed Oloyede accused the governor of deliberately punishing pensioners by denying them of their entitlements.
Lamenting the non-implementation of 33.4 percent increment in their pension, Oloyede said, Abiodun has impoverished pensioners by withholding their gratuities, saying the meager N5,000 minimum pension being paid to some of their members “is grossly inadequate to meet with the present economic demands.” Oloyede also lamented what he called the “acute lateness” in the payment of their monthly pensions, saying this has caused “untold financial hardship to the senior citizens who expend hugely on various old age ailments.”