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Imo pensioners protest 5 months pension arrears

The pensioners in Imo State, on Tuesday took to the streets of Owerri, the State capital, to protest five months pension arrears owed them by the State government.

The protesting pensioners barricaded the Government House roundabout causing traffic gridlock and chanting sorrowful songs to press home their demand.

Speaking to journalists, the chairman of Pension Intervention Committee, Ohaneje Iyke said it was untrue that the pension arrears have been cleared as claimed by the government.

He said it was only 20% of the pensioners that received alert.

According to him, the rest 80% was tagged ghost pensioners by the government.

“Are you going to blame them, they have the mouthpiece, they have the radio and newspapers where they can dish out their lies? They also have the wherewithal to execute their plans. If the pensioners have been paid, there won’t be need for this and with this tumultuous crowd.

“The government only paid 20% of the arrears and pushed the rest 80% away as ghost. Can you imagine that? How can one believe that this crowd of people are ghost pensioners? We have not been paid since March and so many of us are dying of hunger. We can’t pay our hospital bills nor feed our children. This is height of insincerity.

“This is the second phase of the protest. We are giving them one week to do the needed or we come back here and probably turn the government house to our new abode,” he said.

The state Commissioner of police, Isaac Akinmoyede sued for peace among the pensioners, appealing to them not to resort to violence in fighting for their right.

When the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba was called to react to the issue, he failed to pick his calls.