There was unrest at the entrance of the Osun State Government Secretariat, Osogbo, on Wednesday, as protesting pensioners reportedly subjected the Head of Service of the State, Dr Festus Oyebade Olowogboyega into ridicule while he was trying to address them during their protest.
Many retirees under the aegis of Osun State Contributory Pension Retirees, had on Wednesday, protested alleged non-payment of their pensions and gratuities by the state government.
The Pensioners thronged the streets in the state before they finaly converged at the entrance of the State Government Secretariat, Abere to protest against non-payment of their benefits.
The Protest took another twist when the Head of Service who was on his way to Osogbo stopped his vehicle and alighted with the sole intention of persuading the protesters .
The aggrieved retirees in sight suddenly descended and started shouting on him.
The HoS tried his best to pacify the protesters into listening to him but the protesting pensioners turned deaf ears as they were shouting , “go, go, we don’t want to hear anything from you” , You are all thieves”.
However, Dr Olowogboyega displayed high level of maturity as he was just smiling and still trying to calm them down.
When the security men who were on the ground to monitor the situation observed adamant in the reaction of the pensioners badged in and whisked the Head of Service into the hilux vehicle with Slogor inscription he was driving in.
The pensioners protested at Olaiya and the State secretariat bearing placards with various inscriptions like, “we are dying of hunger”, “Masses, help us we are dying”, “Dead people cannot enjoy infrastructure”, etc.
They were also singing different solidarity songs urging stakeholders to come to their aid as the state government is punishing them unduly.
Some of the inscriptions on their placards include “Governor Oyetola, give us our 30 months half salaries”, “Masses help us! We’re dying” among others.
They said the state government had refused to pay their 30 months half-salary arrears (2016 till date), non-payment of gratuities (2015 till date) and non-payment of their monthly pensions since 2015.
Awodele Abiodun, who led the protest, urged Stakeholders to assist the helpless and some homeless senior citizens to get their entitlements.
He disclosed that despite their sickness and old age, the state government had neglected them, adding that many of them have died of hunger.
“Some of us find it difficult to even buy drugs and other essentials because our monies have not been paid by the state government,” he lamented.
Another protester, Mr Sunday Idowu said the failure of the government to pay pensioners is an act of irresponsibility.
“Oyetola came on board and he’s boasting of not owing workers salaries. What then happens to some of us dying because of the negligence caused by his boss , Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is now the current Minister of Interior.
” We are dying of hunger and that’s why we took our protest major streets of Osogbo for the stakeholders to help intervene.”
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