From Francis Nansak,Lafia
Lack of payment of monthly pensions to retirees of local government spanning three months have forced some of the local government pensioners in Nasarawa state to stage a peaceful protest.
The retirees had in their hundreds, on Wednesday, in the state office of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, gathered to protest the non -payments of their monthly entitlements which have lingered for closed to three months.
They had wanted to march from their office to the Government House on a protest form but were however asked by their leaders to wait until the outcome of the meeting between the state governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule and the union leaders.
Fortunately, the deputy governor alongside the SSG and the state Attorney General arrived at their office where they made their demands.
The pensioners then read out their demands at the instance of the deputy governor, Emmanuel Akabe, reminding government of having raised their hopes at the resumption of the administration to look into the plight of the pensioners.
“We are pained to point out that despite series of measures to nip in the bud the issues of percentage payment, the spill over effect still lingers with LGA pensioners.
“And for understanding to reach a way forward, in an expanded meeting of stakeholders presided by the governor we sacrifice to honour earlier public pronouncements that the issues of percentage payments finally laid to rest in Nasarawa state.
“Pensioners waited patiently for the March 2020 payments but only to be told without courtesy that they will receive less than 50%.
“We view this as an act of injustice meted to pensioners by the chairmen of LGAs ,where a pensioner goes home with #5000 ,which is less than the 50%, ” they lamented.
Addressing the crowd of the protesting pensioner, the deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe ,said it was regrettable that pensioners are instead of resting, wrestling over non- payment .
He assured them of relaying their demands to the state governor, who he said has vow to make life more meaningful to the state civil servants.
“I plead with you to be calm as we are going to ensure that this come to an end once and for all. I will direct the chairmen to meet with some of your leaders for a way forward now,” Dr Akabe assured.
When contacted, the state chairman of ALGON who is the Lafia LGA chairman, Honourable Aminu Muazu Maifata, differed with the position of the pensioners, stating that no local government chairman owes local government pensioners.
Maifata, however stated that what was alleged by the pensioners was never a problem from any of the chairmen, but that they need to reach out to the state pension bureau to have their problems solved.