Pensioners in Osun State demonstrated on Friday against the state’s former governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who is now Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, for failing to pay their entitlements while in office.
Around 9 a.m. on Friday, a group of retirees with various placards gathered in front of the Osun State House of Assembly.
Aregbesola, who is on the same day scheduled to commission the Osun State Command office complex of Nigerian Correctional Service, opposite the state’s house of assembly.
Some of the protesters alleged Aregbsola of mismanaging the contributory funds contributed by pensioners while in office as a governor.
Some of the inscriptions read, “Aregbesola, where is the N60b contributed by pensioners?” “Aregbe:- a true Muslim will not behave like that. Rauf you denied people their contributions right,” “Aregbesola, you are not a good leader to be celebrated,” “Osun state government, pay us our benefit.”
Others read, “Gov Aregbe and Oyetola spent our money,” “Paris club loans refund tranches 1, 2, 3 & 4 were misappropriated by Aregbesola’s administration,” “Aregbesola, refund the federal government bailout of thirty-five billion naira you invested.”
Speaking with newsmen, Osun State Chairman of Contributory pensioners, Oyadare Gbenga disclosed the purpose of their protest as to “make our plight known to the whole world what the immediate past Governor in Osun State brought to Osun of today, we are waiting to collect our entitlement in the past 5years August 2016 till date.
“Our members have not been able to keep the family together and we have since been struggling to make our plight known to the whole world and that is why we are here today.
“Majority of our members are now on sick bed, do you know our people some are blind, some with stroke, some have diabetes and some their legs are amputated as am at the Orthopedic Hospital Ila – we have a member there, they said we should come and deposit N300,000 if we don’t want his led to be amputated, those are the things passing through and our children that we educated when we were in service they’re graduates but no job they live on “A for Apple” what will they be able to do for the parents. So we want people to come together and rally around us,” he said.
The pensioner, however, called the minister to explain how he managed their funds for 8 years, opined that they should not have taken “half salary at all because he was granted 35billion at that time so that he could pay salaries and pensions but unfortunately he paid half salary for 3years.”