Local government and state pensioners in Dekina local government area of Kogi State on Friday converged at the local government secretariat to seek God’s face in prayers as they bemoan non-payment of 30-months arrears of their pensions.
Resigning to fate, the retired civil servants trooped to the secretariat to protest the non-payment of their entitlements but ended up with corporate prayers, pleading with God to touch the heart of the state government and Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello.
The pensioners said their decision to resort to prayers was because of the obvious lack of attention to the suffering of the pensioners in the state by government after the accessing 50.8 billion naira bail out funds, Paris Club grants and various allocations running into billions of naira.
They lamented that after they were subjected to various screening and verification exercises, the state and local governments are still uncommitted to their cause.
According to the pensioners, the state government under Gov. Bello have decided to treat them as unimportant citizens, after serving the state with their strength, knowledge and ability while in service.
The pensioners said since the inception of the present administration, payment of pensions have dropped from as low as 10 percent to outright non payment running into months.
Speaking with journalists, the chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Biraidu Unit, Hon. Abijanu said the retired civil servants in Dekina chose to gather at the LG secretariat because of Kogi state government’s non-challant attitude towards pensioners in the state.
“It is very painful and that is why we have come to seek God’s face here,” he said.
They vowed to remain adamant in their agitation till the state government decide to pay off their obligations.
They promised to mobilise other pensioners from the 21 local government areas to the state capital to press home their demands.