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Delta Retirees Protest In Asaba

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Delta Retirees Protest In Asaba

While Governor Okowa along with the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar were in Osun State for a mega rally of the party in support of Adeleke’s election as governor of that State, retirees from public primary schools in Delta State staged a protest demanding the payment of their gratuities.

The protest which held today in Asaba featured teachers who retired after 35 years of meritorious service to the state and were yet to be paid their gratuities seven years on the line.

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Chief Mrs Ejieh addressing the press
speaking on behalf of the retirees, their leader, Chief Mrs Ejieh C.E said in spite of repeated promises made during meetings with a delegation of the State government, Gov Okowa bluntly refused to honour his words and have left the retirees in the cold, choosing to pursue a Vice President of Nigeria ambition.

She lamented that in the face of public outcry to the governor to demonstrate a humane sense of leadership on the matter, nothing tangible had been done even when it was clear that the resources to reduce the burden of debt owed the retirees were available to the State Government.

She pleaded with the state government to declare a state of emergency in the public primary schools retirees gratuities payment matter and also ensure that the over 5.9 billion naira owed by some local councils in the state are duely remitted to the Bureau of local government that is in charge of the payment.

The protest which lasted for hours led to gridlock of vehicular movement along Anwai Road, Asaba where the Govt House is situated. The road was completely blocked by the retirees who sat on the road demanding to see the governor face to face to explain why he derelicted on his statutory obligation to pay their gratuities

The Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr Festus Ovie Agas, it was learnt, was hurriedly mobilized by Okowa through a telephone call from Osun State to attend to the protesting retirees.

Agas in response to Chief Mrs Ejieh pleaded with the retirees for time assuring that the payment would be made.

Security Operatives including the police and a detachment of soldiers failed in attempts to disperse the protesters as the senior citizens remained adamant on the road

After a while, the retirees decided to return home but with a message delivered to Governor Okowa that they will be back next month to ask for the money if nothing tangible was done before then.

Over 3000 retired teachers across Delta State who looked weak and feeble due to lack of money for self upkeep since retirement participated in the protest.

They carried various placards and chanted solidarity songs culminating in a dirge, “Okowa pay our money, Okowa, shame, shame, shame o, Okowa. Okowa 419, Okowa, shame, shame shame o, Okowa”.

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