Metro & Crime

Pensions debacle: Thugs flog pensioners in front of Imo Govt House

The lingering Imo State pensions crisis took an ugly turn Tuesday when pensioners, who were protesting non-payment of their pensions, were attacked by persons suspected to be government thugs.
The incident took place in front of Imo Government House in Owerri, where the pensioners were protesting the non-payment of five months arrears under the Senator Hope Uzodinma administration.
The pensioners, who were marching the streets of Owerri for the fifth time in about a month, were first attacked at the Freedom Square where they gather on daily basis to discuss their plight.
One of the aggrieved pensioners, Ebenezer Ibekwe told newsmen that they were first attacked by the thugs who poured buckets of water on them and hauled water sachets on the senior citizens.
Due to their huge number, they defied the attack and the barricades of security operatives and then marched on to the Government House.
However, close to the Government House, thugs wearing head gears of the Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO), emerged with additional number of thugs dropped by an unmarked Bus Imo.
The thugs now numbering about 15 were brazingly wielding canes and whips and immediately attacked the pensioners trying to break up the protest.
The senior citizens who were resolute defied the attack as the thugs pounced on them flogging anyone within reach.
While the retirees numbering over 500 surged, a detachment of police operatives led by an assistant commissioner of police, AJ Moses arrived the scene and dispersed the thugs without arresting any of them.
The senior police officer then appealed to the pensioners to work with the appropriate organ of government to resolve the pension quagmire.
The pensioners, however, told newsmen that they have reached out to every relevant organ of government without result and regretted that it was the same people that urged them to be patient that turned around and called them ‘ghost pensioners’.
The pensioner accused the state government of being inhuman and insensitive in their dealings with retirees.


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