The Oyo State government has claimed that a protest, last week, by a splinter group of pensioners in the state under the aegis of Retired Primary School Teachers, was sponsored by political opponents of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to a statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Festus Adedayo, the government said it had it on good authority that the pensioners’ rank had been infiltrated by opposition elements, most especially Accord and Labour Parties.
“This is a season of politics and so we are not surprised. When a group of pensioners say they are not bothered that their pension and gratuity, totaling N6.5 billion, was stolen by government officials and the government of the day then looked the other way while the theft held sway, the details of which are in the public domain and the alleged culprits of this monumental heist are being tried at the moment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), then there is more to it than meets the eyes,” said the statement.
The APC-led government said it had entered into an agreement with the parent bodies of the pensioners — the Nigeria Union of Pensioners and the National Association of Retired Local Government Primary School Teachers — on the modalities for the settlement of the pension arrears and gratuity in installments, consequent upon the theft, but the pensioners were coerced to reject the offer by their political sponsors.
Similar protest by civil servants had taken place in neighbouring APC-led Osun State and had also been dismissed as opposition-sponsored.