Your protest stage-managed, Obaseki tells pensioners

By Patrick Ahanor Benin City

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state yesterday urged residents to ignore the relentless protests by some retirees declaring that “pensioners in the state’s payroll are paid as and when due at the end of every month.”

Th e governor described the protests as staged-managed and admonished the people not to be hoodwinked. Blueprint reports that some retirees from the state and local government public service have been at daggers drawn with the government over alleged unpaid gratuities and pensions running to 42 months. Chairman of the aggrieved pensioners, Gabriel Osemwenkhae, had asked governor Obaseki to explain how he utilized Edo State share of Paris Club refund cash.

He had said part of the conditions set by the federal government in releasing the cash to states was to amongst others off set outstanding workers’ salaries and pensions. However, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki claimed that the protests were been “organised by negative, anti-development elements in the state.” Th e governor said genuine pensioners were satisfi ed with his eff orts to ensure that every retiree in the state’s payroll was paid as and when due. He said: “How possible is it that pensioners who they claim are dying of starvation and are bed ridden with various illnesses will purchase hundreds of red t-shirts and print sophisticated fl ex banners with huge sums of money just to drive the baseless and dishonest protest?”

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