Retirees in Osun state Tuesday shut off Abere, the government office in Osogbo and paralysed all business activities in the secretariat.
The retired workers protested the non-payment of the backlogs by the government, saying hunger has killed some of them.
Speaking on behalf of the retirees, Adebayo Micheal, stated that the protest was not sponsored but occasioned by hunger.
Addressing the Deputy Governor, Gboyega Alabi, the protesters said, “from the way you talk, I can see that you don’t have regard for us. If you truly prioritize us and know that we are hungry since last year December that we have been protesting, it should have improved. You are claiming that you have paid our money but it is a lie. You are releasing N708 million monthly what get to those of us under contributory pensioner is very small.
“We met the governor in July 2021 because the money is not enough and he promised us that he will improve on it. We did not see any difference as the government continued to give us N150 million in March and April which is not even every month. 2016 retirees who have not collected anything are about 600.
“The recent money that they release recently, only 76 of us benefitted. We are dying, battling sickness.
“You claimed that the present administration is battling with the backlog, it is so unfortunate, the government is a continuum, anybody that gets to the seat of government will inherit both asset and liability, that an administration left debt for us shouldn’t be part of what you are saying because you are of the same party.
“The person that incurred the debt on the state is from your party, since you know that there was mismanagement of government resources, you should have notified EFCC to arrest him.
“I am very sure if he is from another party he would have been arrested by now.
Your party is not telling you not to arrest him to the detriment of we the retirees.”
But, the government urged the protesters to return home, promising that efforts are on to pay the backlog of pensions and gratuities.
Alabi who noted that the government and leaders of the prisoners have agreed to meet on November 29, urged the protesters not to jeopardise the ongoing peaceful move by their representatives.
He said, “we are ensuring that we are paying full salary promptly. The truth will always be true and false will be false. This money in question, we can not pay at once. It is the arrears and we are making serious efforts to settle it.
“You are very important to us and we are handling your matter as a priority. We don’t like the way you are under the scorching sun, it is not good enough for you and us.
“To sort out the issue of pensioners, your leadership picked November 29, 2021, to meet with the government.
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“I am sure as the deputy governor of this state, the outcome of the meeting will serve your interest as we will add to money they use to release on monthly basis. Governor Adegboyega Oyetola will always fulfil his promise. Let us be patient till the end of the meeting.”