The Pensioners in Osun State on Wednesday took to the street of Osogbo to protest the unpaid pensions by the State Government.
The Pensioners under the auspice of 2011/2012 Forum of Retired Public Servants in Osun State.
The protest was fuelled by the death of a retired headmaster in Ejogbo local government area, Lukman Odewole, who was reported to have committed suicide after he was sick and was unable to take care of himself.
One of the leaders of the pensioner group, Mr. Yemi Lawal said the situation is becoming messier and unbearable. He called on the Predident Muhammadu Buhari to intervene into the matters of pensioners across the country.
He said “ We are appealing to President Buhari to save us from Aregbesola. Buhari is the only one who can save us from hunger and untimely death. We are being owed pension arrears of over 13 months.
“We have lost over 2,500 since 2013 and one of our members in Ejigbo last month committed suicide because of financial hardship.
“We want the Federal Government to conduct workers and pensioners audit to know the exact number of pensioners and workers. We are also pleading with the President not to pay any intervention fund meant for salary and pension to the Osun State Government because the money will be diverted just like the previous funds were diverted.”
Reacting to matter, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Osun state described the protesting pensioners as politicians whose aim is to blackmail the Governor.
He said, “As a government, we categorically state that the government has paid workers and pensioners up to date. The government does not owe any worker or pensioner based on the modulated payment scheme, as the pensioners have alleged.
“We wish to put it on record that (Governor Rauf) Aregbesola increased the amount being paid as pension by 500 per cent in 2011. The non-payment of gratuity is not peculiar to Osun State; and the government has shown its readiness to pay the gratuity as soon as the state finances improve.
“It is on record that this group of pensioners had, at one time or the other in the past, lied against the Osun State Government.