No fewer than four pensioners were on Tuesday July 28, 2020, rushed to an undisclosed hospital as they slumped during a protest march in Owerri, the Imo state capital, in furtherance of several attempts to force Governor Hope Uzodinma to clear arrears of pension owed.
The retirees who were demanding five (5) months pension arrears from the present administration had blocked all roads leading in and out of the State Government House Owerri, demanding that the governor Hope Uzodinma led administration pay them their pensions and gratuities without further delay, let hindrance or encumbrance.
Clutching placards depicting their plights, the senior citizens, accused the state governor of frustrating them. One of the retirees, Mrs Margret Onuoha, who was revived several hours after she slumped told journalists that despite retiring as a director on grade level 14, the government had continued to frustrate her.
While in tears, the woman said that her husband, Eugene Onuoha also a retiree died in the struggle in 2016 and was never paid his outstanding entitlements till date.
The septuagenarian said that her health had been failing her because of her inability to afford hospital bills or basic drugs and medication for treatment.
The Chairman, Pensioners Intervention Committee in the state, Iyke Ohaneje, why reacting to the development, said that the government was not sincere to the retirees.
“The government is owing us a total of 45 months, but we are asking government to pay us just five months arrears accumulated since March 2020.
Government has accused us of being ghost pensioners, but we have woken up from the graves to tell the government that we are not ghosts”.
The State Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede, who addressed the pensioners, assured that their matter would be discussed at the state security meeting which was expected to hold on Wednesday July 29, 2020.
The CP promised to “personally” brief the Governor about their plights.