Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City.
Hundreds of pensioners under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Edo State Council, have decried the alleged non-payment of arrears spanning over 42 months, calling on the Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to immediately address their plight by paying up.
They threatened vowed to stay off from voting during the September 10th governorship election if their demands are not met.
The pensioners in the state have been having a running battle with the Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, over pensions arrears amongst other demands, which apparently led to the death of one pensioner during a peaceful protest by the pensioners recently.
Reacting to the latest protest, the state Commissioner for Establishment and Special Duties, Didi Adodo said the Oshiomhole administration, which took over government on November 12, 2008, inherited pension and gratuity arrears from 1998.
He who disclosed this to newsmen said the arrears of these gratuity and pension have been cleared to 2011 by the present administration.
He said the governor deserve commendation and not condemnation on issue regarding workers welfare, especially the pensioners.
Adodo revealed that Oshiomhole rescinded an earlier decision to pay pension and gratuity of only those who retire under his administration, by clearing the backlog left behind by the government of Chief Lucky Igbinedion.
The commissioner who acknowledged that some pensioners were been owed arrears, however said it was not true that some were been owed arrears of about 42 months.
“People should know Oshiomhole government has done more to ameliorate the plight of pensioners in the state than any other government.
“Thousands of pensioners, including those the military government of Adamu Iyang and administration of Chief Lucki Igbinedion, who retired thousands of workers without paying any gratuity and pension to any.
“When Oshiomhole came in, his jettisoned the plan of paying only those who retire under him. He started by paying from 1998 and as I speak, we have cleared the backlog upto 2011.
“We are currently working on the batchless, before the pension board was dissolved. In another week or so, these people will receive their entitlements,” he said.
More details later