Osun State secretary of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr Adesoji Adedire yesterday said that no fewer than 236 pensioners have died in the state in the last seven months awaiting their pensions and gratuity by the state government.
Mr Adedire stated this at a peaceful protest embarked upon by members of the union to press home their demands.
The pensioners stormed the state House of Assembly ‎in their numbers with placards carrying different inscriptions as “pensioners are suffering,” “pay our pension,” “we can’t suffer anymore,” “stop deceiving us Aregbesola,” Aregbesola is a thief,” among others.
The pensioners, both males and females, were also seen chanting anti government songs.
Speaking to journalists, Adesoji said the protest became necessary since the new administration at the centre had said that no state was owed monthly allocation in the country.
While lamenting the hardship being faced by his members for the past eight months, Adesoji described the ‎pension as their only source of income after retirement.
According to him, “Empty promises by government and its insensitivity to the plight of pensioners have led to the untimely death of many of us.”
Some of the protesters who shared their experience called on well meaning Nigerians and the federal government to intervene in their interest.
While noting that life had not been easy for them, the pensioners maintained that most of them had been living on drugs for years, which they said caused the untimely death of some of their members.
Addressing the protesters at the state House of Assembly, the deputy chief whip of the house, Mr Taiwo Adeyemi pleaded with them to exercise patience, assuring that the governor would soon find a solution to the issue.
The protesters, who are mostly elderly people from across the state, later moved from the state Assembly to the popular Olaiya Junction, causing gridlock and preventing ‎vehicular movements in the area for more than two hours.

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