Barely 20 days after the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led government released N2.5 billion for the payment of local government retirees, thousands of pensioners again barricaded government house over non payment of accumulated entitlements.
The protesters predominantly old men and women on Monday November 28th 2022, stormed Asaba, the Delta State capital, heaping curses on Okowa, who many now addressed as “Southern betrayal”.
The pensioners, who marched from Summit Junction to Government House Asaba, were dressed on black, carrying placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions reads: “Wicked Okowa! Where is the N55 billion for retirees for 8 years”, “Okowa you are owing both the living and the dead”, “Commissioner for Misinformation”, Charles Aniagwu, where are you? We are here now”, “Okowa, wicked Governor, a man without conscience”.
The protesters who are primary school teachers, said Okowa abandoned them to die in pains and penury after using 35 years of the lives to serve the.state, promising to return on Wednesday.
According to one of them, “Many of our members are dying daily as a result of sicknesses, inability to pay hospital bills, feed and send our children to school”, the protester revealed weeping.
They bemoaned the utterances credited to the governor and his information managers who earlier denied that primary school teachers are not under the state government but federal government.
They stressed that they were equally accused of being sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege against Okowa and his government.
“We are not sponsored by any political party or candidate. We are fighting for our legitimate rights and as you can remember, there was no protest or delay in payment of pension arrears during the time of Governors Ibori and Uduaghan.
“In their era, retired teachers were paid promptly and they enjoyed their sweat before they died, why is Okowa wicked and does not want us to taste the benefit of our work before our demise, he queried”.
Continuing, the protesters who were visibly bittered, expressed regret with the treatment a man who claim to be a son of a teacher is dishing out on them even as they rain curses on him and his lineage.
They said, if he knew primary school teachers were not his workers, then he should stay off the allocation coming to the local government and stop interfering in the affairs of local government.
It would be recall that after tagging them as “Hired Crowd”, “none staff of the Delta State government”, and APC ‘sponsored protesters”, the Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, finally released N2.5 billion as payment for local government retirees after several protests.