N25bn arrears: Benue pensioners defy heavy downpour, continue protest

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

The Concerned Benue Pensioners yesterday defiled a heavy rainfall to continue with their protest which started on Wednesday.
The pensioners are protesting over nonpayment of over 25 months pension arrears and gratuities amounting to over 25 billion naira owed them by the state government.
It was learnt that the pensioners slept in front of the government house gate, vowing not to vacate until their demands are met by the Governor.
According to them, they want to present their protest demands to Governor Ortom as his 100 days gift in the second term of his administration.
Speaking to newsmen, the chairman of the Concerned Pensioners, Comrade Peter Kyado, said that they are not bothered about their safety anymore as they are ready to remain inside the rain and the cold until their pension and gratuities are fully paid.
“We slept here yesterday and this morning, we have woken up to continue with the Protest. There is no going back. We will not depart this government house come rain, come shine until our demands are meant.
“We are not preventing people or staff from entering into government house premises or offices, but security personnel attached to the government house closed all the entrance gates against us and we have no problem with that. But, when the staff or people come around to enter their offices, once they see us, they just turn back.
“We don’t know why they were behaving like that. Since yesterday this main entrance gates had been under locked and key. Like I said earlier, we are peace loving old men and women who mean no harm to government, all that we are saying is that, government should give us our entitlements which are legitimately meant for us. When they Governor returns, we will present our demands to him as his 100 days achievement”, Kyado said.
As at the time of filing this report, the Governor was yet to return from Abuja.

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