By Laleye Dipo in Minna
Two groups of protesters â€” pensioners and artisans â€” aired their grievances against the Niger State government, thereby halting all commercial activities in Minna, the state capital Wednesday.
The pensioners were protesting against the non-payment of their pensions and gratuities for upwards of three years after leaving the state government’s employment.
Numbering over 300, the pensioners who stormed the office of the state’s Pension Board making both the junior and senior staff to flee for their safety, also marched through the major streets of Minna chanting anti-government slogans and carrying placards with various inscriptions.
The acting Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, who received the protesters at the Government House, assured the pensioners that they would be paid once the bill before the House of Assembly on their issue is passed.
The second group â€” artisans, motor and motorcycle mechanics â€” denounced what they described as outrageous levies and taxes imposed on them by the revenue consultant engaged by the state government, saying they were being forced to pay N30,000 monthly whereas “we don’t make up to this amount in a month”.