Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Adewale Osinowo was locked up yesterday in his Oke-Mosan office, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, alongside other ministry workers over two months unpaid pensions of local government retirees.
Members of the Association of Local Government Pensioners in the state, stormed the office complex and immediately locked the two entrances leading to the office, demanding for their May and June, 2016 pensions.
Activities at the ministry were partially paralysed as workers were prevented from moving from one office to the others while members mounted guard at the entrances. The pensioners claimed that no fewer than 60 members of the association had died in the last two months.
Led by its Chairman, Sikiru Akangbe Ayilara, the angry pensioners besieged the office and demanded to see the Commissioner whom, according to them, attempted sneaking out upon sighting them.
The Chairman said the Commissioner had earlier sneaked out of the office of the state Accountant-General in an attempt to avoid the protesters. Osinowo who later appeared to the pensioners after about 30 minutes of laying siege in his office, immediately went into a close door session with the leadership of the union which lasted for about an hour.
Journalists and other members of the union were, however, barred from the meeting that held at the Ministry’s conference room. During the meeting, two of the protesting pensioners slumped, but were later revived by their colleagues some of whom rushed out of the meeting.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Osinowo attributed the delay in payment of May, 2016 pensions to communication gap between the ministry and the pensioners. He explained that the money had been paid by the government to the bank handling the account, but that the bank has failed to credit the bureau of local government. Osinowo however, promised not to leave his office yesterday until the bank complies with the directive to pay the pensioners within the next six hours.
He said, “It was a family meeting, a communication gap at that, we have paid the money since yesterday and same has been transferred to the bank, but the bureau failed to communicate to them. “I have called the bank and they have all seen that the money has been paid, the fund has left us and I am not going to leave office today until the bank credit their accounts.”
The Chairman who also addressed the press confirmed that officials of the bank were contacted in their presence and that they’ve promised to credit accounts within the next six hours.
He said, “We discovered that, that of May has been credited to bank, but we have not seen it in our accounts, up till now, we are yet to see the alerts.
“We are going to open the gates and will suspend every other actions lined up, because we believe the commissioner, but if it fails, there are many ways leading to the market pla