Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, has declared that he cannot be intimidated by pensioners in the state over the non-payment of their 42-months arrears.
The governor made the statement while expressing his dismay over the interruption of his speech by pensioners at an annual ceremony to mark the National Pensioners’ Day on Tuesday in Benin City, the state capital.
Obaseki, however, assured the pensioners at the event that he understood their plight more than any other governor in the country.
The governor predicated his earlier comment on the fact that he was part of the presidential committee on pension reforms whose recommendations led to the formation of the pension commission.
According to Obaseki, “Nobody is going to threaten me. I will tell you the truth as it is. Even today, from that Paris refund, I am taking more to pay.
“Did we get Paris refund last month? Did we get Paris refund two months ago? I am not taking money to settle the arrears. If they paid anybody to come and disrupt us, by the grace of God, those people will not succeed.
“The Paris Club (refund) is divided between the state and local governments. In the case of this state, from N10 billion, we reduced the arrears to three point something billion (naira). That we did.”