Thugs and protesting pensioners, who thronged the Imo State Government House in Owerri, to protest the non payment of their five months pension and gratuities, clashed on Tuesday.
Our correspondent reports that this is the fifth time in less than a month old men and women were protesting their nonpayment of pensions and gratuities by the state government.
The thugs had formed a barricade, stopping the pensioners from approaching the Government House’s main gate.
But the resolute senior citizens stood their ground insisting that they must gain entry into the seat of power.
In the ensuing melee the thugs unleashed their canes on the pensioners.
But the situation was prevented from degenerating when a detachment of police operatives, led by an assistant commissioner of police, A. J Moses, arrived at the scene.
The policemen dispersed the thugs and the ACP started appealing to the pensioners.
He appealed to the pensioners to work with the appropriate organs of the government but the pensioners in return told the ACP that they had exhausted all avenues of reconciliation with the government.
Efforts to get the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, to speak on the issue proved abortive.
But Emelumba had, in an earlier statement, accused some politicians of sponsoring the protests, saying that most of the protesters were not pensioners, but persons hired to cause confusion in the state.