On Wednesday, Benue pensioners demonstrated in Makurdi against the state’s unpaid pension.
Association of Concerned Pensioners members pleaded with government officials to pay them immediately because their capacity to support their families is being negatively impacted.
The men claimed that the Okada men—commercial motorcycle riders who are infamous for taking wives—are doing it because they are unable to meet their fundamental demands.
They pleaded with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba, and the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly to intervene on their behalf.
On September 21, 2022, a group of senior citizens marched to the Makurdi state assembly complex while carrying banners with various slogans.
According to reports, the retirees were initially denied admission because the Speaker was not there, but after standing their ground, they were given permission to speak with assembly management.
Spokesman of the protesting group said;
“This is for your information and necessary action. It is no longer news that the Government of Benue State is owning her pensioners 37 and 74 months pension arrears at the State and Local Government Levels respectively. Our backlog of gratuity remains a no go area and is totally forgotten.
“As a result of non-payment of pension and gratuity, pensioners are dying on a daily bases as most of them are on special diet and dr*gs but could not afford even a maintenance ration or dr”gs.
This has caused untold hardship to pensioners, including the inability to afford decent food, Housing, payment of hospital bills as well as inability to pay children’s school fees leading to their being sent out of school by the school authorities, thereby frustrating their future.
“The concerned Benue State Pensioners have become scavengers, Refugees destitute and beggars on our fatherland that we served with zeal and meritocracies, if we do not beg, we will not eat.
“Because of hardship occasioned by non-payment of Pension and gratuity, we have lost our wives to Okada Boys, ‘because we are no longer economically viable to carter for them. Life has become miserable, meaningless and unbearable.”