Hundreds of pensioners on Thursday in Benin marched on Edo Government House to protest non-payment of arrears of pensioners ranging from five to 42 months.
The pensioners carried placards with inscriptions such as “EFCC come and rescue Edo pensioners”; “Gov. Obaseki pay pensioners their pension arrears”; “Mr Governor use the N11.38 billion bailout funds to pay pensioners”; and “Oga Governor please pay all our entitlement to Edo state and Local Government Pensioners”.
The pensioners’ spokesman, Mr. Gabriel Osemwenkhai, told reporters that some of the pensioners now sleep in churches.
Osemwenkhai said that the pensioners need their entitlement to pay their children’s school fees.
He alleged that some of the local government pensioners had not been enrolled into the state pension scheme, while others had died as a result of hardship.
He urged Governor Godwin Obaseki to emulate other states who had used bailout funds to pay their senior citizens.
Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Philip Shaibu, who addressed the protesting pensioners, lauded the peaceful manner of the protest.
He said that some of the issues raised by the pensioners have been received and measures already being put in place to address them.