Pensioner Commits Suicide in Benue Out of Frustration

  •  Protest rocks Govt House

A retired worker with the Benue State Local Government Service, Mr. Gabriel Nomsha, last week committed suicide following frustration over his inability to get his pension for over three years.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of Coalition of Local Government Pensioners,’ Mike Vembe, who led a protest to Government House Makurdi wednesday.

He said one of their members, due to frustration, hanged himself a week ago.
“One of our members, Gabriel Nomsha, from Gwer West Local Government Area, committed suicide last week as a result of poverty and frustration.”

He explained that after the deceased had been screened, he came with the hope of collecting his pension but was disappointed when he wasn’t paid.

This is even as 2,000 local government pensioners on Tuesday slept at the gate of the Government House in Makurdi to protest the non-payment of their pension to the tune of N1.1 billion.

The pensioners who came from the 23 local government areas of the state, were said to have arrived the seat of government in Makurdi about noon but could not see the governor and decided to pass the night at the gate of government house.

Efforts by security operatives mounting the gate to disperse them were rebuffed as the senior citizens called their bluff until mother luck smiled at them yesterday morning when Governor Samuel Ortom who was travelling to Abuja, came to address them.

Vambe who led the pensioners, said the protest became necessary after the Ministry of Finance stopped giving money to Local Government Pensions Board.

“We slept at the gate of the Government House since yesterday to press home our demands for the payment of our pension. The finance ministry stopped giving money to Local Government Pensions Board and this is causing our hardship.”
Governor Ortom who sympathised with them, said their welfare was of utmost importance to his government and promised to do everything possible to clear their pension arrears.

Ortom immediately directed his Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Titus Zam, to include one of their leaders.