Politics

Retired Police officers storm NASS, protest over unpaid pensions

State Police

By Haruna Salami

Protesting retired Police officers of Nigeria under the contributory pension scheme, Tuesday stormed the National Assembly, Abuja over several months of unpaid pensions.

The retirees representing various state chapters lamented the severe hardships faced due to the failure of the National Pension Commission to pay their entitlements.

Therefore, the retired police officers urged the Federal Government to remove them from the contributory pension scheme.

Speaking with newsmen during the protest, national coordinator, Mr. Christopher Effiong, who retired as a Superintendent of Police said they are at the National Assembly Complex to press forward their agitation that have been with the legislature.

Mr. Effiong, who is also the Chairman of Cross River State Chapter of Police Retirees said the agitation had been with the National Assembly for the past three years.

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“We agitated that we should be exempted from contributory pension scheme such as their counterparts from other security agencies like armed forces and other intelligence communities. This scheme has sent a lots of our retirees to the grave”.

We have a bill to exit contributory pension scheme, that Bill had been here for over two years, it has passed first reading, second reading, we came here for public hearing, but till today, nothing is happening, nothing is done. If it is conspiracy by the Nigerian government to kill us, then let us die here. We are dying, we cannot feed our families”, he said.

Addressing the aggrieved protesters, the Vice Chairman, Senate Common Police Affairs, Senator Yinusa Akintunde, who sympathized with retired police personnel, said the National Assembly is currently holding meeting with Police authority to resolve the problem.

“We thanked you sincerely. What you are doing this morning is a legal means of expressing your feeling. You are trying to let the nation know the situation of the police retirees and there is no crime in what you are doing this morning. You are exercising your right.

“Let me inform you, the truth is that, as of this morning, we met twice, the committee of National Assembly and the Committee of the IG, and the bill you are talking about is 9th assembly bill. It is no more in existence as of today because it is was never assented to, but some arrangements are on to resolve the problem. You are fathers, brothers, mothers, we cannot allow you to suffer. We are going to meet with some of you now to find way out”, Senator Akintunde said.

During the protest, they displayed placards with messages such as “NPF pension defrauding police retirees, SOS”, “Police officers are dying in penury under the contributory pension scheme”, and “CPS is a death sentence against police!”

This is not the first time police retirees have protested.

In September 2021, retired officers from about 27 states stormed the National Assembly in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, demanding their pension payment.

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