It was mild drama that played out on Thursday as security agents, working on the directive of the Ogun State Government, locked out protesting local government pensioners at the Governor’s office, Oke – Mosan, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, according to Daily Post.
The pensioners under the aegis of Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPAN) had stormed the state secretariat in protest over the alleged refusal of Governor Dapo Abiodun to pay their gratuities.
As early as 8am, the senior citizens, armed with placards, had gathered around the state secretariat for their demonstration.
The procession of the aged protesters, however, met a brick wall at the second gate of the secretariat, leading to the Governor’s office, as security agents hurriedly locked the gate against them.
However, the State Chairman of Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPAN), Sikiru Ayilara, and a handful of the officials, engaged security agents in an altercation to gain entrance.
Enraged by the act, Ayilara attempted to force the gate open, raining abuses, but the security agents, including police, NSCDC and private security guards, failed to budge.
Workers were left stranded with government activities paralysed momentarily.
DAILY POST reports that the protest climaxed the three-day fasting declared by the pensioners over the backlog of unpaid gratuity.
Apart from placards with various inscriptions, the pensioners were armed with mats, insisting that they would not leave the governor’s office until their demands were met.
Speaking with newsmen, Ayilara said “We wanted to stage a peaceful protest and we introduce ourselves to them, we don’t have cutlasses, we don’t have ordinary stick in our hands, we just want to make the people know the treatment being meted out to us as pensioners in this state.
“The suffering we are experiencing from this and the previous administration is too much.”
Ayilara had lamented that his members are hurt by the alleged non-challant attitude of the governor to their demands, which include non-payment of gratuities, lateness and non-increment in their monthly pensions and discrimination against the state and local government pensioners by the government among others.
He accused Abiodun of “playing dangerously with the lives of the members” by refusing to pay their gratuities on time.
The association insisted that the quarterly payment of N500m by Abiodun which by calculation would take 34 years to clear all the gratuities is unacceptable.
They called for a review of the policy by voting N1 Billion monthly instead of payment of N500m quarterly which they said would take 34 years to clear the outstanding.
Watch the video below: