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General News of Wednesday, 22 September 2021


Pensioners shut down Ogun State secretariat over non-payment of N68 billion 10 years outstanding gratuity

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Pensioners in Ogun State shut down the Ogun State secretariat as they protested against the non-payment of N68 billion 10 years outstanding gratuity.

The pensioners, under the auspices of Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPAN), Wednesday, September 22, blocked the two main gates of the secretariat, in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Led by their Chairman, Sikiru Ayilara, the pensioners were protesting non-payment of gratuities, lateness and non-increment in their monthly pensions and discrimination against them and the state pensioners by the Governor Dapo Abiodun government.

The protesters had placards with inscriptions such as "gratuities are on sales to pensioners", "Governor Dapo Abiodun, honour your father and treat pensioners well", and "Governor Abiodun Abiodun, we don’t deserve this worst humiliation", among others.

As the gate was locked by the protesting pensioners, several civil servants and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tokunbo Talabi, were locked out of the secretariat for over four hours.

Recall that in June, members of LOGPAN had thronged the office of the state Governor after "many unreplied letters to him" about their complaints. They had staged a protest to express their grievances and they made known their plan to picket the government secretariat by sleeping and cooking in front of Abiodun’s office.

Addressing journalists, the State Chairman of LOGPAN, Sikiru Ayilara, lamented the alleged inhuman treatments he and other pensioners have been subjected to by the Abiodun administration. He accused Abiodun of failing to keep his promises to the pensioners, lamenting that, some of them still earn paltry sum of N3,000 as monthly allowance.

Ayilara described the quarterly payment of N500 million by the governor, which according to him would take 34 years to clear all the gratuities, as "a wicked act".

He called for the review of the policy by voting N1billion monthly instead of payment of N500m quarterly.

According to him, the association had written 13 letters to the governor seeking his audience to address their demands, "but the governor has remained recalcitrant and unyielding to their demands".

Ayilara insisted that, it is illegal for the state government to be paying their pension through the Ministry of Finance instead of the Bureau of Local government pensions.

Responding to the pensioners, the SSG, Tokunbo Talabi appealed to the pensioners to be more patient with the government, saying "the government is currently experiencing hard times."

He assured that the government would look into the demands of the pensioners.

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