Abia pensioners baricade Aba road


From CHUKS ONUOHA, Umuahia

Abia Pensioners, numbering over 300 aged men and women barricaded the old tower point of  Aba Road, yesterday near the Nigerian Union of Journalists’(NUJ) office, which is a stone’s throw from the office of  State Pension Board, along Bende Road, protesting non-payment of their pensions and gratuities for many months .

The protests took many hours as motorists were held in traffic as the pensioners were going round the tower in a ritualistic manner . Thier conditions looked so pitiable that even the policemen, who were sent to disperse them could not utter a word, but looked on until they were done. They painted a picture of a people depraved and denied  as many of them who walked round the tower looked weak. They were demanding for the payment of their gratuities as well as pensions from the state government whom they alleged had not been fair to them.

They decried that their members were dying as a result of lack of care due to non-availability of fund to take care of themselves at their age, having wasted their vibrant lives for the state. A spokesperson of the pensioners, who who doesn’t want to be named explained that few months ago over 10 pensioners died as result of their inability to procure necessary drugs .

He appealed to the state government to ensure that the welfare of the senior citizens  were taken care of  since the governor, who retired from the state Civil Service  was aware of the difficulties pensioners were facing. But in  a swift reaction to the yellings of  the pensioners, the Chairman of the State Pensioners Board, Chief  Daniel Egboghu said people were dying everywhere , not only pensioners. “After all, if pensioners are dying in the state, they are not the only ones dying, death is everywhere,” Egbogu said. Another pensioner, who was carrying green leaves like others, which indicated anger, was shaking as he walked along with others during the protest.

He lamented that the state government was owing him payment of six months. Egbeogu said, “There are a lot of ghost pensioners in the system and that is why the state government has set up a committee to verify the genuine pensioners before payments are made. “As I speak with you, the panel is in Isukwuato Local Government  council to fish out ghost pensioners, that is why there is delay in payment but as soon as Governor Orji returns from Aba  I would convey the message that Abia pensioners barricaded Aba Road protesting the non-payment of the pension,” Egbeogu promised.   “ I retired from Abia State Local Government system as a  teacher since two years ago, my pension and other entitlement are yet to be paid to me .

As you are looking at me now, I am feeling sick and I need money to seek medical assistance  but I cannot get it from any where. Now the state I spent my life for does not care, what can I do, “ he qurried. Ealier Egbeogu had expressed regret over the action of the pensioner but maintained that for 2012 the state government had released over 100 million to off -set the bills of the pensioners. “There is a shortfall in the revenue accruable to the state from the federation account but as soon as funds are available we would pay the pensioners, after all if pensioners are dying in the state it is not only them that are dying, death is everywhere”.

According to him, “There is a lot of ghost pensioners in the system and that is why the state government has set up a committee to verify the genuine pensiones before payments are made. “As I speak with you, the panel is in Isukwuato Local Government  council to fish out ghost pensioners, that is why there is delay in payment but as soon as Governor Orji returns from Aba  I would convey the message that Abia pensioners barricaded Aba road protesting for the non-payment of the pension” Egbeogu promised.

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  1. Snake will always born something that is long.
    Try what the Egyptians are doing now at their leader’s palace and you will be paid tomorrow.
    However one or two of you will be ready to be failed or sacrificed. If you are not yet ready, better go home and continue to pray.
    My God, your God, will answer you.

  2. I knew Abia people in the past as people that cannot and would not tolerate any rubbish from state government or individuals that tried to intimidate them…. but am surprise to see and notice that those same Abia people are speechless, unable to act, unable to fight for their right, unable to demonstrate even in the street of Abia State, unable to vote PDP out from power…. i feel sorry for abia people and they should learn from Imo People that rejected their ex governor and vote him and PDP out from power due to his inability to carry the people of Imo along and do what is necessary….. i really want Abia people to wake up and display their right as the citizen of the state.

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  4. I just hate seeing the face of this monster they call governor of Abia state. Since I saw his picture at Okija shirian I know that the man was under a spell.
    So after driving away non Abians from his state, he cannot still pay out the old pensioners in his state.
    And also want Abians to work in other states of the federation yet he do not want other state to work in his state. A selfish governor in did. I am ashamed of you Aba.

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  7. Governor T.A Orji is an embcile and as such lacks the technicalities of government. Posterity will judge him for every sin of ommission and commision. He is owning serving civil servants for several months and also the pensioneers- God will judge him

  8. Your Governor T.O. Orji Governs on newspapers. Buying of bicycles for few people is sufficient to be on the news. Very deceitful. Abians yet to have democracy.

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    T A Orji must be judged according to his deeds. And evry seed he had sown in the governance of abia state,the fruits thereof he shall reap.

  10. I am increasingly sick of journalism in Nigeria & I’m being pretty modest. Why the heck is the face of an idiot governor more impressionable for this pathetic story than the haggard faces of those decrepit old men & women on walking sticks & holding palm fronds, some of them suffering from all manners of aliments ranging from starvation to Parkinson’s, shuffling & shaking their way around the Tower in demonstration for the non-payment of their deserved entitlements by an unprecedentedly wicked, inconsiderate, thieving governor? Pictorials make a profound impact on the minds and conscience & that’s what’s missing from this uncanny story. The world needed to see the images of those Abia veterans agitating for what’s rightfully theirs.


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