Monday, February 29, 2016 7:40 pm
Pensioners on Monday blocked the entrance to Government House in Bayelsa in protest against unpaid entitlements for the past five months.
The pensioners, who carried placards with various inscriptions, said the welfare of their members was not negotiable.
Some of the inscriptions included: Dickson, pay us our gratuities, and, be good to pensioners, we voted for you”, among others.
Mr Bodi Amarah, Chairman Caretaker Committee of NUP in Bayelsa, said the protest was to call government’s attention to the non-payment of members’ five months pension arrears.
“We have not been paid our pension for five months and some of us have not received gratuity at all, the Bayelsa government should pay us our money.
“Our members came out this morning to protest, just to call government’s attention to our welfare, but some group of youths came and started beating up our members.
“Our placards have been destroyed by the youths, they injured some of us. One of our members who was beaten up is receiving treatment in the hospital.
“We did not come out for war, we only came here to ask for what belongs to us, now, see what we are receiving as our pay.
“The pension is our right and it is not going to be negotiable; we will not leave here until Gov. Seriake Dickson comes out to address us.
“Yes, we have tried several times to meet with the governor, but all efforts have proved abortive”, Amarah said.
Mr Philip Didi, another member said, “the beating up of the pensioners by the youths is cruel and inhuman.
“We need our money because we have served the state meticulously for 35 years; our members are dying and our children’s school fees have not been paid,” he said.
Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Chief Press Secretary to Bayelsa Governor, admitted that the pensioners’ were being owed by the state government.
He, however, denied the beating up of the pensioners by youths, describing “the reported assault on pensioners in Government House as misleading.’’