Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State narrowly avoided being lynched on Thursday in Asaba, the state capital, as angry members of the Delta State Local Government/Primary School Contributory Retirees protested.
The retirees’ protest comes after the Okowa administration has failed to pay retirement benefits for the past seven years.
The protesting retirees blocked the entrance to an event centre where the GEST empowerment program’s graduates were to be honoured with a graduation ceremony.
The disgruntled protesters, who chanted solidarity songs, demanded that the governor pay their retirement benefits because they were tired of his broken promises year after year.
Some retirees expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that their colleagues died without receiving their benefits, claiming that even benefactors of the deceased retirees were denied access to the accumulated funds.
When Okowa was informed that the retirees, who were owed gratuity and pensions, were protesting, he reportedly took to his heels and snuck out of the venue through a non-exit gate, leaving elder statesmen and women unaddressed.
They accused Governor Okowa of intending to stay in office until the end of his term without paying their pensions.
Among the inscriptions carried by the protestors were:
“Luke 10v7, Luke 10v7, Luke 10v7, Luke 10v7, “Okowa, pay us our pensions and gratuities now,” “Okowa, stop killing retirees,” “Retirees are suffering and dying on a daily basis,”
“Governor Okowa, we implore you to pay our fathers and mothers their retirement benefits and save the state from today’s humiliation.”
“If your name is EKWUEME, please act in accordance with your name and save the state from further embarrassment.”
Below are photos from the protest action.