Retirees in Osun State on Thursday took to the streets of Osogbo to protest against Governor Rauf Aregbesola for the failure of his administration to pay their gratuities and pension arrears.
The protesters gathered at the popular Olaiya Junction at about 7:00 am before embarking on their peaceful demonstration tagged “Operation Occupy Osogbo”.
Commuters plying the roads were stranded due to the protest which lasted for about an hour.
The retirees had in the past, accused Governor Aregbesola of being insensitive to their plights by refusing to pay their entitlements and allowances which they claimed has led to the death of many of their members.
Thursday’s development made it the third time in 2017 that they would protest over what they described as a delibrate refusal of the government to pay their 12 months arears of pensions.
They also alleged that no retired worker from the state civil service since 2008 till date had been paid gratuity.
According to them, what was more annoying was that the state government had at three different times received intervention from the Federal Government to pay the workers but they allegedly refused to pay.
Chairman of the group, Comrade Omoniyi Ilesanmi alleged that Governor Aregbesola had diverted monies meant for the payment of their gratuities and pensions and was planning to divert the second tranch of the Paris Club fund released to states.
Speaking in the same vein, a former Head of service in the state, Mr Segun Akinwusi told the retirees to use their votes to change a government that had made life unbearable for them.
In reaction, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Lani Baderinwa said it was rather unfortunate that the retirees were allowing themselves to be used by the opposition.
He said the state government was yet to receive the Paris club loans as opposed to the belief of the pensioners.
He, however, appealed to them to show some understanding with the state government and dialogue, rather than taking to the streets to protest over their entitlements which according to him, the government would definitely pay up when the economy improves.