Pensioners in Benue State, under the aegis of Concerned Pensioners, have vowed to continue their protest at Government House, Makurdi, until the state government yields to their demands.
The pensioners have been protesting non-payment of their 20 months’ pension, marching through the streets of Makurdi and finally occupying the Government House.
The chairman of the group, Peter Ikyado, said they decided to embark on the protest because the letters they wrote to the state government did not produce positive results.
He said the Governor Samuel Ortom promised to pay them this week was for April and May last year.
Ikyado said, “We are demanding to be paid at least six months before we will suspend the protest.
“We cannot pay our children’s school fees and we cannot afford good food. Three days ago, three of our members – David Atsanan, (Ushongo) Joel Ijir (Oju) and Kiishi Dom (Gboko) – died while one Yaaakur sustained compound fracture.
“We are dying. Your fathers are dying and you do not care about us. We want to die here in Government House. We are now Internally Displaced Pensioners.”
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Titus Uba, who met with the protesters at Government House gate, pleaded with them to leave as soon as they were paid their two months’ entitlements by the governor.
He said the Assembly was also doing its best to help them get their money.
Uba said they had passed the Benue Pension Bill, which led to the inauguration of Benue Pension Commission.