Agitated pensioners in Imo state, on Thursday restricted movements on the Okigwe road and the Government House entrance due to the non-payment of pensions between 22 and 77 months arrears by the government.
The state chairman, Chief Gideon Ezeji led the pensioners in the protest, beckoning on the Governor to give an account of what he did with the bail out fund the state received from the Federal government.
They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the State Governor Rochas Okorocha to order.
Ezeji said Okorocha “behaves and treats senior citizens in the state disrespectfully.
“Okorocha derives joy in seeing elders in this state come out from time to time to the streets to ask for their pension.
“What did Okorocha do with the bailout fund that President Buhari gave to him? We are protesting for the third time.”
The angry pensioners purported that the move by the governor, Okorocha to pay the 40 percent of their money and forfeiting 60 percent is wickedness.
“We say no to this latest government’s plan to deny us the payment of 60 percent of arrears up to December.
“As at December 2016, the state is owing Imo pensioners between 22 months and 77 months arrears. Our gratuities have remained unpaid since 1998 till date.
“Also, the government has refused to harmonize our pensions since 2000 to date. All the efforts by the union overseeing the welfare of pensioners have not yielded any fruit”, they stated.
The state government reacted to this allegation through the Chief Press Secretary of the State Governor, Sam Onwuemeodo, with the claims that those involved in the protest are not pensioners.
Onwuemeodo’s statement, reads: “No pensioner in the state was part of that protest.
“Those involved in the exercise were between the ages of 40-45. And we challenge those involved to prove us wrong by publishing their names, their autonomous communities, local government areas, years of retirement, where they retired from and their identification numbers.”