Osun pensioners barricade government secretariat

Osun pensioners barricade govt secretariat preventing workers from gaining entrance
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Osun pensioners barricade govt secretariat preventing workers from gaining entrance

Pensioners under the aegis of “Forum of 2011/12 Retired Public Servants of Osun” on Friday barricaded the entrance to the Government Secretariat, preventing workers from entering their offices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest, which began on Thursday with the blocking of the Olaiya Junction in Osogbo, followed the claim by pensioners of non payment of 13 months pension and gratuity arrears by the state government.

The Chairman of the group, Mr Omoniyi Ilesanmi, who addressed newsmen on the sidelines of the protest, said the action would be sustained until their demands were met.

“Yesterday’s (Thursday) is not enough to press home our demand as we will from Monday next week start barricading all the major roads leading to the state capital until all our benefits are paid,” he said

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He said there was no truth in the allegation that an opposition party in the state was sponsoring them.

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Ilesanmi, who said pensioners were tired of collecting half of their monthly pension, also insisted on government payment of gratuity arrears for 2008 to 2012.

NAN reports that the protesters in their hundreds locked the entrance gate to the secretariat in Abere, chanting anti-government songs.

The protesters equally displayed placards with various anti-government inscriptions.

Security personnel were, however, on ground to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order.

The Police Deputy AIG, Zone XI, Sunday Odukoya, urged the protesters to disperse as no government official turned up to address them.

The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Lani Baderinwa, had told NAN that the allegations made by the pensioners were not true.

Baderinwa said government had paid salaries and pensions up to the month of May.

The commissioner also said that the state had yet to receive the second tranche of the Paris Club refund as against the claim by the pensioners.

He also said the protest by the pensioners was politically motivated, adding that it was wrong for them to have alleged government diversion of the Paris Club refund.