By Tom Moses
UYO-Ex-Agitators numbering about 100 from Mbo Local Government extraction of Akwa-Ibom State, on Tuesday, invaded the Akwa-Ibom State Government House to protest the non-payment of their monthly allowances by the government, blocking the Welington Bassey Way leading to the Government House, Uyo to bolster their grievances.
The ex-agitators who were dressed in black T-Shirts and Black jean trousers with red scarves on their heads also barricaded Wellington Bassey Way and the Dominic Utuk Avenue for about two hours thereby preventing traffic from the entry and exit from the Government House and the adjourning streets.
But the security operatives comprising men of the Nigerian Army, the Mobile Police, Anti-Riot Squad and Civil Defence Corps were on hand to contend the ex-agitators as canisters of tear gas were freely deployed to disperse them.
Vanguard gathered that the protest by the self-styled ex-agitators had become a recurring decimal as a month hardly passes without them taking to the streets to demand payment of their allowances by government.
Some of the ex-agitators who spoke with the Vanguard but did not want to be named alleged that the Akwa-Ibom State government was not taking the issue of their allowances and welfare seriously after they had been persuaded to leave the creeks and mingle with their kith and kin with a promise to pay them monthly.
“As it is now, it is the government that has reneged on the agreement reached with us by not paying our allowances for some months now. It appears they want us to return to the trenches which we shall not hesitate to do. But I can assure you that government would be at the disadvantage if we return to the creeks”, he said.
Speaking on telephone with the Vanguard, the Akwa-Ibom State Police Spokesman, Delia Nwawe refused to acknowledge the protesters as ex-agitators or militants saying those who were protesting were hoodlums.
She expressed delight that the police were handy to disperse them warning that the Akwa-Ibom State Police Command under Mr. Murtala Mani would not condone any unlawful assembly and criminality.