A yet-to-be-identified pensioner has slumped at the popular Ring Road in Benin, the Edo State capital, during a protest by members of the state chapter of the Retired Civil Servants Welfare of Nigeria (ARCSWON).
The retirees on Monday protested over their unpaid pension gratuities, non-harmonisation of pensions, among other welfare issues by the government.
It was gathered that the pensioner was immediately rushed to a hospital by the union where he was resuscitated.
Also during the protest, the pensioners held in their hands placards, bearing different inscriptions.
Some of such inscriptions are; “Pensioners Need Gratuity To take Care Of Our Health”, “Pay Our Gratuity and Harmonise Our Monthly Pension”, among others.
Meanwhile, the protest reportedly caused gridlock on the road and the adjoining streets as commuters had to trek to their respective destinations.
The spokesperson of the group, Yusuf Bako, said the protest was staged against illegal deduction of the monthly pension, among others.
“Also, the issue on ground is gratuity. Since 2012, state government retirees have not received their gratuities while that of local government is since 2008.
“We also have issues with harmonisation of our pensions; as of today, the teacher that taught me geography receives N4,000 a month,” he said.
He further maintained that the protest was a warning to the government about the mother of all protests that is coming if it fails to grant their request.
“On that day, we will carry pot, bed and stove to occupy this place even if it rains or it’s sunny, we will not leave until they grant our demands. But for today, we will leave because issues are resolved on a table.”
Addressing the pensioners, Osaro Washington, representative of the Edo State Pension Bureau, assured that all hands were on deck to address the issues raised by the aggrieved pensioners.
“We have asked them to put on hold the one per cent deduction until further notice. We are not owing any pensioner. What they are saying is their gratuity.”
“We have told them times without number that the payment will be done as quickly as possible and we are holding meeting with all stakeholders in this particular issue,” he said.