Local government pensioners in Benue State have given a 72 hour ultimatum to the state Governor, Samuel Ortom to address their concerns or face massive protests throughout the state.
The pensioners who met in Katsina-Ala this morning were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions and also a white coffin to espress their grievances over being owed between 17- 24 months of pensions and gratuity.
According to their spokesperson, Elder Terlumun Iorza, many of the pensioners had medical illnesses that waranted daily intake of drugs but were unable to do so due to lack of funds.
He called on Governor Ortom to, at least, ofset some of the pensioners being owed so that they could join their colleagues in other states to celebrate Christmas and New year.
“We started this protest since the beginning of this year. We have alot of problems. We are being owed pebsioms and gratuity between 17-24 months depending on the year of retirement. So people have retired for over one year they have not been captured. Where do we go from here?
“Christmas is here, we have just only a week ahead. We have no money, as usual, to clothe our children, talk less of feeding. No money for Akpu, Nothing. Why is it so.
“During Akume’s regime, pensioners were being paid first, today we are not being paid at all. Imagine for one year plus, if money is not being paid to Ortom, can he run government house?
“If Ortom says “in God we trust”, why is he denying us of celebrating Christmas? If it’s a Christian affiar. We are dying everyday.
“On Monday, there we be a showdown. We will not destroy anything but we will not sit down and watch.” He threatened.
Besides pensions and gratuity, Benue state government is owing state civil servants about 5 months salaries, local government staff and primary school teachers are owed 9 months.
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