Retires of primary schools came out en masse to protest the unfair treatment meted out to them by the state government after their years of service.
Some retired Primary School teachers in Oyo State under the umbrella of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest at the state secretariat, Ibadan, over the accumulated pension arrears ranging from 17 to 56 months.
They also lamented non-receipt of gratuities since 2008. The state NUP Chairman, Mr Gbadegesin Akande, who led the placard-bandying protesters, warned that the affected retired primary school teachers may be forced to embark on regular protests if the state government failed to attend to its demands.
Some of the placards read, “Our children are home, pay our allowances”; “Enough is Enough”.
Akande while addressing journalists, decried the poor plight of the retired teachers such that pensioners only got January 2017 pension this November.
While pointing to a July 2014 directive of Governor Abiola Ajimobi on modalities for regular payment of pensions, Akande said it was baffling that the directive was not heeded, leading to accumulated pensions and gratuities.
“While we plead with the Oyo government to quickly accede to the demands of these retired primary school teachers, our union will not hesitate to call out all pensioners to sympathise with these teachers.
“We also request that demands of our pensioners which the government had refused to address over the years be met”.
Executive Secretary, NUP Oyo, Mr Olusegun Abatan in his own contribution, said retired primary school teachers received a monthly pension of N219 million as against the required sum of about N450 million.
Abatan argued that the arrears would not have continued to accumulate if government paid 100 percent of pensions monthly rather than varying percentages.
He further chided government’s attribution of the situation to embezzlement of funds by past administrations.
State Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo who addressed the protesters on behalf of Governor Ajimobi, appealed to the pensioners to remain patient for government to attend to the issues.
He stressed that the state government would not intentionally fail to them.