Over 200 Benue State pensioners carrying placards yesterday protested the nonpayment of their six months pension arrears, threatening not to leave Government House Makurdi, until the governor pays them.
Some of the placards read “In God We Trust, Pay us our pension arrears,” “All we are saying pay us our pension arrears”, and “if you govern with the fear of God pay us our pension and gratuity.”
Speaking on behalf of the pensioners, Mrs. Stella Peter and Dr. Joshua Abuku expressed dismay over the decision of the government whereby they paid workers salary arrears and left out pensioners, saying the decision was discriminatory.
Stella, particularly threatened that they will not leave government house until the governor, Samuel Ortom pays the arrears, adding that things have become so difficult for them to the extent that they can no longer feed, pay house rent or even train their children in school.
Addressing the aggrieved pensioners, Gov Ortom appealed to the pensioners to be patient as he promised to take their grievances to President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he said had promised to address the problem of pension arrears after the payment of salary arrears.
Ortom said he had no intention of increasing the burden of the pensioners and intimated that his administration has demonstrated that by paying the sum of N393million and N117million respectively for pensioners at the state and local governments each month.
The governor who thanked the pensioners for their orderly behaviour later appointed Dr. Joshua Abuku, who is a retired chief veterinary consultant as Senior Special Assistant on Pension Matters.

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