The protesting retired teachers, dressed in black and black attires, led by Mrs. C.E. Ejieh, had last week Thursday stormed the entrance gate of the state government house, Asaba, barricaded the gate to prevent any entry and exit.
They also chanted solidarity and anti-Okowa songs to drive home their demands for payment of their gratuities.
Reacting to the last week Thursday protest by the retired primary school teachers at a press conference in Asaba, on Monday, Okowa, the state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said the protesting pensioners in the state were not retirees of the state government but primary school retirees under the local government councils.
According to Aniagwu, the protests targeted at maligning and impugning the reputation of the governor even as he noted that the protest was politically motivated, alleging that “The leader of the protesting retirees is Mrs Helen Ejie, the All Progressives Congress Delta North Women leader.
“The leader of the protesters is Mrs Helen Ejie, a retired teacher from Iyiatu Primary School, Utagba-Ogbe in Ndokwa West.
“She retired in 2016 and is the coordinator of APC women in Delta North. We have seen some stage-managed protests by individuals who ordinarily are supposed to appreciate what the state government has done. It is public knowledge that primary schools are under the local government councils in terms of how they are remunerated and how they operate.
“Sometime last year, this same woman led a few persons contrary to the reality of what we are doing they come to Asaba, rub themselves on the ground, pour invectives on the governor in line with what those who have asked them to go and demonstrate. They will begin to shout and cast aspersions on the person and office of the governor.
The information commissioner, also lambasted the Minister of State For Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo over what he called “an uncharitable comment on the state-of-affairs in the state”, said, “We need to remind Festus Keyamo that in Delta, our universities are working while the ones that belong to the Federal government are still at home and we urge him to work seriously with his senior colleague to ensure that the issues raised by ASUU (the Academic Staff Union of Universities) are resolved as soon as possible.”