On Tuesday 23rd June, Imo retirees protested in the streets of Owerri over State Government failed to pay their pensions and gratuities from February till date.
The protesters were seen with placards written of their plight, they accused Hope Uzodinma government of insensitivity and unfair to them. It was gathered that the retirees wanted to invade Government House but were blocked by security men, but as they were stopped by security men, they barricaded the roundabout preventing movement in and out of government house.
Meanwhile, Mr Iyke Ohaneje the Chairman, Imo State Pensioners’ Intervention Committee while speaking with the press made it known that all the efforts by pensioners to influence government to pay them the outstanding pensions and gratuities have being twarted by the office of the accountant general of Imo State.
He further said that 42 pensioners had died in this case of Non-Payment of their Salaries. Mr Iyke Ohaneje said they were on the street to beg the government to pay them their stipends.
Ohaneje in his words, “We are not here to protest; Rather we have come to beg for alms from the people of Imo State since the government has refused to pay our pensions since February.
This is fund that we worked for. We are not beggers neither are we begging the government for money. We are just asking the government to pay us our pensions, which is the money we earned. A few months now 42 members of this group have died of hunger, excluding the ones in the rural areas.
Imo Government agents have frustrated every step we have made to get our pensions paid to us.” However, he said that contacts has being made to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Modestus Nwamkpa and he said pensioners would soon be paid but up till now we haven’t receive any thing .
Reacting to the protest Nwamkpa said “The government is aware of the situation, but taking to the streets won’t solve the problem. The government is looking into the books. The pensioners will soon be paid,”.
Nwada Ugochinyere Onyechere reporting, Obinwannem News