Yinka Kolawole Retired civil servants in Osun State under the aegis of Forum of August, 2011-December, 2012 retired Osun State Public Servants, Friday embarked on a protest in Osogbo, the Osun state capital as a result of non payment of their monthly pension and gratuities.
The protesters started early in the morning at Ola-Iya junction and marched down to the state secretariat, Abere. The retirees, who were chanting protest songs, carried placards with inscriptions that read "Ogbeni Aregbesola wants more pensioners to die of poverty, hunger and preventable diseases, Aregbesola,Please Pay us our entitlements", amongst others.
When the protest was going on, there was heavy traffic jam on the Osogbo/Gbongan road and the gate of the state secretariat, Abere was shut to prevent the protesters from gaining entrance. Addressing protesters, the chairman of the forum, Mr. Tunde Ogunniyi decried the inability of the state government to pay the retired workers.
He lamented that about 15 members of the forum had died, adding that "one of us is being buried at Ilesha presently. We have written several letters to the government concerning our entitlements as we have our authority papers and yet nothing is forth coming." Ogunniyi also accused the state Commissioner for Finance, Wale Bolunduro, of being behind non payment of their entitlements. Responding to the allegation, Bolorunduro said subsequent to 2012 massive voluntary retirement, Osun state government had increased the amount of monthly pension from N220 million to N430 million.
He said that before the retirees can be pension rolled, the office of Head of Service will issue them authority to collect and it is this paper that they will use for pension roll.
"But when the retirees did not start on time, the process could take longer time", he concluded. He appealed to the retirees to cooperate with the government to resolve whatever issue that arose in the process of paying them their entitlements in the interest of peace.
As at the time of filing this report, the retirees were at the meeting with some State officials.