Mass protests looms in Imo … As pensioners spoil for action

By Nick Chibunna

Unless something is done and quickly too, Imo State, apparently one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria may witness the first ever mass protest by all pensioners in the state.
Impeccable sources told Christian Voice that the protest march which would take place in Owerri, the state capital would involve all including the weak and the sick among them.
Christian Voice also gathered that top security operatives from the  state police command are said to have passionately appealed to the senior citizens to drop the plan and toe the line of dialogue.
When Christian voice called at the Capacity Hall Complex, state headquarters of the Nigeria union of Pensioners (NUP) members who spoke on the conditions of anonymity said that they were in support of the planned protest.
They said that their Union was taking such steps as the last resort since their appeals and entreaties have fallen on deaf ears.
According to them, some pensioners in Imo State were paid last in March this year, others were not paid at all, leaving a backlog of unpaid pensions and gratuities.
The pensioners who said they were not happy and comfortable with the recent claims by the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha that Imo pensioners were being paid said that retired primary school teachers are the worst hit with 25 months of outstanding pensions not to talk of gratuity.
They said that civil service pensioners have 15 months while local government pensioners are owed 18 month, adding that the protest will expose the hypocrisy of the Imo State governor and put the records right on the plight, humiliation and pitiable state of Imo state pensioners.
Meanwhile, the union is arranging with medical personnel, ambulances and all the media organizations in the state to help in the protest.
Just last April, precisely the 14th, all the (NUP) local chapters in the 27 Local Government in Imo State held prayer convocation concerning  their plight and condition, asking God to deliver them from the hands of pharaoh.

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