Pensioners in Umuahia protest and demand unpaid allowances.

Pensioners in Umuahia protest and demand unpaid allowances.

Pensioners demonstrated in the streets of Umuahia, the state capital of Abia State, yesterday under the banner of the ‘Concerned Abia State Pensioners Association,’ demanding that the state government pay their unpaid pensions.

They appealed with the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to take into account their condition after providing valuable services to the state, regretting the fact that they are being allowed to die on a daily basis.

“Concerned Abia pensioners in a peaceful statewide protest for non-payment of 20 years gratuity from 2002 to 2022; 38 months arrears of monthly pension; no harmonisation of pension for 20 years now,” one of the inscriptions on the banners read.

“We are disappointed that we are not paid our pensions despite the monthly federal allocations and Internally Generated Revenue that the state collects,” said Emeka Okezie, the pensioners’ coordinator. He went on to say that the state government’s promised 50% monthly payment had not been made on time.

“We are pleading with members of the public to assist us in convincing the government to pay us. We scaled down our protests after our last one in March of this year, anticipating the state government’s stance toward us to shift, but there has been no meaningful change. We are dying on a regular basis; five of our more than 3000 members died just two days ago at the Federal Medical Center Umuahia, and many of our comrades have grown too frail to participate in the road demonstrations.”

According to the Guardian Newspaper, no government official could be reached for comment on the demonstration, the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, recently committed to pay all unpaid wages and pensions before his term ends in May 2023.

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