By Simeon OSAJIE
Delta State government has accused Deputy President of the Senate and Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of sponsoring local government pensioner’s protests against the state government.
Charles Aniagwu said that despite the efforts of the state government in assisting the local governments to defray their outstanding pension liabilities, Omo-Agege and the APC were bent on sponsoring protests on the matter to score cheap political points.
Address newsmen at a press conference in Asaba, Anaigwu urged the general public to be wary of the protesters as they were obviously playing the cards of their political sponsors.
He said that some of the retirees appreciate the effort of the state government in helping to clear the outstanding pension liabilities and remarked that a certain woman leader of the APC was being used to blackmail the governor and paint him in bad light.
According to him, we have it on good authority that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has again engineered a protest that is billed to take place on Monday.
“You will recall that last time I briefed you on this issue, I told you about a lady who is the woman leader of the APC in one of our local governments.
“She is a retired local government staffs who has continued to use her position in APC to mobilise a few other persons to protest against the government on account of the issue of outstanding pension liabilities.
“This is somebody who worked for the local government and as a state government we have continued to assist our local governments to meet up with a whole number of obligations in terms of paying salaries of their workers and at the same time assisting them in defraying liabilities owed their pensioners.
“This woman, he inspite of the fact that her colleagues have continued to appreciate the effort of the state government towards ameliorating their plight by extending some grants to the local governments, still decided to turn it into politics and next week they have been engineered to go and protest again to embarrass the governor.
“They have done it before and they want to do it again and as part of their arrangement they will film it and put on the social media and make it look as if we are not doing what we needed to do.”
He challenged Deltans to ask them questions on where they worked and who is supposed to pay their pensions even though the state government had continued to be magnanimous in helping the local governments.
“When you see them ask them which tier of government did they work for, ask them whether the state government have not continuously assisted the local governments to pay salaries of those who are working for the local governments?
“Ask them whether their pension liabilities which have been outstanding even before this administration came to be whether we have helped them to defray the outstanding liabilities?
“We needed to let you know that these protests are being sponsored by the Governorship Candidate of the APC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to go and protest and make it look as if we are not responsible even when we have continued to extend assistance to the local governments.
“You will recall that we concluded plans to extend N10 billion grants not loan to the local government but unfortunately the bridging finance didn’t come in but we are now taking steps to ensure that in the next couple of weeks that we are able to extend that grant to them.
“We are doing this because we believe that these persons are Deltans whether they worked for the local government or not we could still take steps in assisting them to boost not just their economy but that of the state.
“But inspite of these efforts, this woman who is being engineered to mobilise other persons in the APC still want to begin to move along that line,” he said.
He said the Okowa administration would remain focused in delivering on its promises to the people and commended Deltans for their support.