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Cross River pensioners protest against alleged non-payment, omissions

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Cross River State governor Professor Ben Ayade

Pensioners in Cross River State have decried the non-payment of their May entitlements and delisting of over 3,000 of them from pay roll after a controversial verification exercise by the Governor Ben Ayade administration.

Hundreds of the senior citizens yesterday besieged the office of the Accountant General protesting the omissions after claiming to have passed the screening conducted by the state government to update its list of pensioners.

One of the affected retired workers, who craved anonymity, said: “We are state pensioners and we have not been paid for May and June.

We have been asked to write down our names and we have done that but we do not know what will be the result yet. I retired since 2009. We are over 3,000, and some people came on Thursday, Friday, Monday and today (yesterday).

“My appeal to government is that they should pay us. They should not torture us because what they are doing to us now is torture.

Somebody will work for 35 years and retired, yet you are not paid your pension as and when due. Today (yesterday) is June 26 and you have not paid May salary (pension).”

Another retiree, who simply gave her name as Mrs. Effiong said: “I don’t know what is happening.

We went for screening last month at the Ministry of Finance. All my particulars are okay but up till now, I have not received my money. My children and grand children are in the house hungry.

I have children in nursery and secondary schools and the University of Calabar.”

An ailing pensioner, Ferdinand Ugana, who embarked on a seven-hour journey with the help of his son from Yala, struggled to eat bean cake, as his hands trembled.

Speaking later through his kid, he stated: “We went to the bank but there was no money. They said we should come to Calabar for verification and that is why we are here.”

The State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Clarkson Otu, regretted that the screening was “ a deliberate ploy to reduce the pension pay. We will meet hopefully this week and take a position. It is very unfortunate.”


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