By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
Government House gate shut
Retired civil servants under the aegis of Association of Contributory Retirees of Delta State has accused Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of insensitivity for reneging on his promise to look into the plight of its members occasioned by the failure of the state government to compute their terminal benefits with N18,000against the N7,500 being used at present.
Addressing journalists during a peaceful demonstration by its members at Government House gate in Asaba, chairman of the Association, Comrade Elder Agbaka Avurakoghenw revealed
Some of the senior citizens sitting dejectedly during the protest
that Governor Okowa had earlier agreed to harmonize and pay them in June. He lamented that till now, the governor has refused to see them let alone implement the agreement reached.
He noted that while local government and primary school retirees were being paid based on N18,000 minimum wage, retired civil servants were still being paid with N7,500 calculation.
Comrade Agbaka wondered the offence they committed that warranted the ill-treatment they have been subjected to, adding that the issue of correcting the anomaly had been on dialogue for seven years with no sign of respite.
Members of the association faulted Governor Okowa’s administration for misinforming the general public by creating the impression that Delta State had paid retirees up to date, adding that even based on the old N7,500 computation, the state government was still owing some pensioners.
Some of the retirees at the Government House gate
Meanwhile, the main entrance to the Government House was completely shut down following the protest and vehicular movement in and out of the Government House through the Cabinet Road end was seriously restricted.
The angry retirees refused to listen to any government official sent to address them as they continuously demanded to see Governor Okowa to explain to them their crime to attract the punishment he has metted out on them.
All efforts by government officials to address the protesters were rebuffed as the senior citizens shouted them down.