Following efforts of the Edo State Government at sustaining the monthly payment of pensioners’ entitlements in the state, officials and members of the Local Government Staff Pensions Board Branch of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in the state have distanced themselves from the sponsored protests at Ring Road, Benin City.
In a letter addressed to the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and jointly signed by the Chairman NUP, Honourable S. E. Obazee and the Secretary, B.O. Osagie, the pensioners appealed: “We on behalf of all Local Government Pensioners in the state hereby tender our sincere apology to your excellency for the unauthorised demonstration carried out by some groups of state and local government pensioners some weeks ago which caused embarrassment in the state capital.”
They expressed their appreciation for the governor’s effort in the payment of their monthly pensions without fail since he assumed office.
“We also want to appreciate you for all your arrangements to address the problems of the pensioners of both the state and local governments in the state,” they said.
They explained that “It is unfortunate that these groups of pensioners who demonstrate may not have understood the arrangements your administration is making for the comfort of pensioners.”
The pensioners, however, appealed to the state government to consider with serious concern their plight “as old men and women, whose ages are around seventy-five and even more years, and who can no longer do any hard labour to survive the test of the day.”
They added that some of them “are still tenants, while some are widows and widowers, who only rely on their monthly pension while some others are ailing and depend on drugs.”
The pensioners further said that “those who went out on demonstration may have done so as a result of greed, hunger and ignorance. Pensioners are aware that your administration met this backlog of arrears.”
They pleaded with the governor to tamper “justice with mercy and kindly attend to our problem with minimum delay and we appeal to your Excellency, the Executive Governor of our dear state to use your exalted position to reconsider our problems and give us a smiling solution. May the Almighty God bless you.”