Retired civil servants, under the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, on Monday staged a protest in Benin, the Edo State capital, against the non-payment of their pension arrears by the state government.
The aggrieved protesters, many of whom were dressed in black attires, carried placards with different inscriptions.
The retirees decried what they described as clandestine delay in the pay of their entitlements spanning between seven and 42 months.
Some of them, who spoke when they were received by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Rowland Osakue, at the NUJ Press Centre, lamented that they had been evicted from their apartments due to their inability to pay their rents.
One of them, Ihama Friday, said, “Some of us are tenants; we have been ejected. We are living in the apartments of friends. A man at 60 still squatting with a friend is a terrible situation.
Another pensioner, who identified herself as Osa-Aighobarueghia, lamented that she had accumulated debts, since she retired as a headteacher in 2014.
She said, “My pain is that the governor has not paid me my arrears. He is owing me almost 30 months arrears and he only started paying in April this year.
“What happens to the previous ones? We have borrowed money to keep the family alive. It is disappointing.”
The State Chairman of NUP, Pullen Noruwa, said that members of the union had been made to live on a meagre payment of N2,000 monthly, due to the non-harmonisation of their pensions.
While calling on the government to reopen the state pension board, he also urged the state governor to clear the backlog of their outstanding pensions as a “parting gift”.