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Pensioners shut down Edo, protest N400 monthly pay

Pensioners in Edo State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to demand the payment of their gratuities and other entitlements from the state government. The…

Pensioners in Edo State on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest to demand the payment of their gratuities and other entitlements from the state government.

The pensioners who comprised of state and local government retirees carried placards with various inscriptions such as “Pay Us Consequential Adjustment Base Of 2019 Minimum Wage,” “Save Pensioners From Avoidable Death,” “Pay Us Our Gratuities, Enough Is Enough,” and “Pay Us Our Recent Age Increment” among others.

The protesters blocked the popular Ring Road for over six hours thereby causing gridlock and forcing commuters to trek long distances.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Marcus Afekhatse, who retired in 2014, lamented that they were finding it difficult to take care of themselves and the family following the non-payment of their gratuities.

“Three groups are on the road today. Our colleagues in local government who retired in 2008 and have not been paid gratuity till date are here”, he said.

“Also, at the state level, pensioners who retired since 2012 and have not been paid gratuity are also here while others are members still receiving pitiable sums such as N400, N2000, N3,000 as monthly pension since they retired over 20 years ago.”

He said the protest became necessary because the permanent secretaries that retired recently had been paid their gratuities at the expense of the lower cadre who retired several years ago.

Another pensioner, Josephine Asagbovomwan, who retired in 2017, said she had yet to get her gratuity, lamenting that she served the state for 35 years diligently only to be denied of her gratuity.

Responding, the Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, assured the pensioners that modalities were being put in place to offset the arrears of their gratuities.

He pleaded with the pensioners to give the government time to resolve the issue once and for all.

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