From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
Over 200 persons suspected to be hoodlums yesterday invaded Benue State Government House in an attempt to attack protesting pensioners.
An eye witness said the incident happened as early as 5am, adding that the thugs who were armed had planned to inflict injury on the pensioners.
“They were insulting us saying that they also, have elderly parents who have retired but would not stay here so, we must push you away from here”, the anonymous source said.
He further said, “ the situation caused pandemonium as the pensioners scampered for safety even as it took the intervention of security operatives led by the State Commissioner of Police Garba Mukkadas to prevent such from happening’ .
“The situation further aroused the anger of the security agencies who ordered the stoppage of food supply to the pensioners. This is just as they tightened security and further pushed most of the pensioners away from the government house.
“The pensioners had to painstakingly smuggle food to feed themselves.”
Similarly, the State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN Rev. Akpen Leva also, appealed to the protesting pensioners to vacate the area in the interest of their health and the State.
“We are weak. The Governor told us that it is impossible to meet their demands. We are in a fix. We are affected. It is not convenient for you our parents to continue to stay in the rain. We Plead with you to go home as this will give us strength to seek solution to the problem”, Leva appealed.
Responding, Chairman of Concerned Pensioners Peter Ikyado said it is regrettable for the Governor to say that he cannot meet their simple demand for just six(6) months.
“All that is needed is just 614 million naira for monthly payment of State pensioners. Local government pensioners go through worst situation as they are paid in three (3)batches. They receive pension just three (3) times in a year”, Ikyado said.