From John Adams, Minna
Different protesting groups, yesterday, shut down both government and commercial activities in Minna, capital of Niger State, and blcoked all major entry points into the city for over five hours.
It took the detachment of anti-riot policemen and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSDC) several hours before the situation was brought under control.
The first group of protesters, numbering about 300 were state pensioners who fell under the Contributory Pension Scheme who have not been paid pensions and gratuities for over three years after retiring from the state government employment. The first point of call by the protesters was the office of the state pension board and on their arrival at the office, both junior and senior staff took to their heels. From there, the protesters, mostly old men, marched through the major streets chanted anti-government slogans and demanded removal of the Director General of the state Pension Board, Alhaji Mohammed Tunau Ahmed.
They were received at the Government House by Acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso who assured them that they would be paid their entitlements once the bill before the House of Assembly on their issue was passed.
The second group of protesters were artisans, made up of motor and motorcycle mechanics, spare parts dealers, welders, vulcanizers, building materials sellers, among others, took to the streets to protest what they described as outrageous levies and taxes imposed on them by the Revenue consultant, Boyabam Global Services Ltd engaged by the state government.