Retirees flee, journalists flogged as soldiers descend on protesting pensioners

Nigerian retirees who blocked a highway in Cross River in protest over delays in pension payments finally got a response from the government.

The government, according to witnesses, deployed soldiers to chase the old men and women, who on Monday occupied a section of the Murtala Mohammed highway, away.

And that wasn’t all.

“Some journalists who came there were also flogged by the soldiers and everyone ran away,” a witness said.

“They could not speak with the pensioners before this happened.”

Governor Ben Ayade spokesperson Christian Ita said the government was “not owing verified pensioners”.

But some of the retirees alleged that the government declared them dead already.

“The state Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs Stella Odey, promised that every genuine pensioner will be paid once they undergo screening and are captured in the payroll,” Ita insisted in his statement.

“She said the periodic screening became imperative following the discovery of a high number of ghost pensioners in the payroll.

“According to her, no verified pensioner is owed a dime by the state government. She urged them to cooperate with government by submitting themselves for screening in order to be captured for payment.”

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