BREAKING: Protesting varsity workers, security officers clash in Benin
Protesting Staff and Pensioners of the College of Education, now Tayo Akpata University of Education, Ekiadolor, clashed with security officers at Edo Government House in Benin, during a peaceful protest.
The workers, dressed in black attires, are protesting over their 11 months of unpaid salaries and pension on Wednesday.
The clash occurred when security at the gate to the government house joined by the workers of the state Public Safety and Works Volunteer Scheme and the State Traffic Management Agency tried to prevent the protesters from getting close to the gate.
The workers, however, put up resistance by forcefully pushing back the barricade put up by the security personnel.
The workers said they would not be deterred by the ploy of the government to force them to stop the protest which has been on since July 20.
President, College of Education Academic Union, Mr Fred Omonuwa, who led the protest said, “We are law abiding people and will never take laws into our hands.”
Omonuwa also expressed displeasure with the state government for linking their protest to politics.
“When they came to our school to placard us not to protest, we were not being sponsored. It is just blackmail.
“The government has tried to blackmail us by saying we are being sponsored by his political opponents, but (we) will not be blackmailed on the altar of politics for demanding our rights.
“We have been on this protest on a daily basis since July 20, when we started and we are determined to continue with the protest until our demands are met.’’
It would be recalled that the commissioner for education, Mr Jimoh Ijegbai, had denied the protesters’ claims of being owed salaries by the government.
He had noted that not only was the arrears owed by the previous administration cleared, but the workers were also being paid even while they were not working.