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Pensioners Shut Down Benue State Over Unpaid Pension

Hundreds of pensioners under the aegis of  Concerned Pensioners in Benue State on Wednesday, thronged the major streets of the town to  protest  the alleged 75 months of  unpaid entitlements.

The protest terminated  at the office of the Benue State Pension Board along Barracks road in Makurdi, the capital city.

The protest on Wednesday was the second time in one month the pensioners would throng the major streets of the capital city to demand for payment of their pension and gratuities.

At the time the protesters got to the cabinet office that also houses the office of secretary to the state government, they were denied entry.

Vice chairman of the pensioners, Comrade Stanley Okwanya, who led the protest told journalists outside the gate of the board that they would not relent until their money is fully paid.

“We have decided that every month, we will be coming out until our request is met,” he said.

Speaking on the presence of tight security around them, the group leader said that the  presence of police had nothing to do with their demand saying  that the police commissioner had no capability to meet their request.

“He only promised us to take it to the appropriate quarters. Already, individuals had gone to court over the matter but not on the union platform.”

Okwanya  said,  “We are  being owed between 38 and 75 months pensions arrears at the state and local governments levels respectively while the backlog of gratuity has become a forgotten issue.

Also the state Commissioner of Police, Wale Abass, who was on ground to ensure orderliness said he was on board to calm the protesters.

The CP was  accompanied by the security adviser, Lt. Col. Paul Hemba (retd).

The CP said,  “We are going to channel their request to the appropriate quarters. They are not violent as you can see them in their numbers.

“We are here to ensure they move around peacefully and safe. You can see the numbers of police following them.”

On his part, the Chairman of the Pension Board, Terna Ahua, who received the protesters behind the locked gate, said he would take their complaints to his principal and thereafter respond to them.

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