There was unrest at the entrance of Osun State Government Secretariat, Osogbo, yesterday, as pensioners demanded the payment of their entitlements from the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola.
The senior citizens reportedly subjected the Head of Service of the State, Dr. Festus Oyebade Olowogboyega, into ridicule while he was trying to address them during their protest.
The retirees, under the aegis of Osun State Contributory Pension Retirees, claimed that the state government was yet to pay their pensions and gratuities.
The protesters had thronged the streets in the state before they finally converged at the entrance of the secretariat to continue their protest.
The retirees, in a bid to make their protest more effective, shut down the state secretariat and denied both government officials and workers access into their offices.
However, the protest took another twist when the Head of Service who was on his way to Osogbo, alighted with the intention of persuading the protesters to vacate the secretariat. The aggrieved retirees, upon sighting him, booed the head of service.
The HoS tried his best to pacify the protesters but the pensioners turned deaf ears to his pleas as they started shouting, “Go, go, we don’t want to hear anything from you, you are all thieves.”
But when the security men who were on ground to monitor the situation observed that the pensioners were adamant, they whisked the Head of Service into a government vehicle and drove him off.
Awodele Abiodun, who led the protest, urged stakeholders to assist the helpless and some homeless senior citizens get their entitlements.
He said that despite their sickness and old age, the state government had neglected them, adding that many of them have died of hunger.
“Some of us find it difficult to even buy drugs and other essentials because our monies have not been paid by the state government.”
Another pensioner, Mr. Sunday Idowu, said the failure of government to pay pensioners was an act of irresponsibility.
“Oyetola came on board and he’s boasting of not owing workers’ salaries. What then happens to some of us dying because of the negligence caused by his boss, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is now the current Minister of Interior.
“We are dying of hunger and that’s why we took our protest to major streets of Osogbo for stakeholders to intervene.”