On Tuesday morning, scores of pensioners who protested in front of the Imo State Government House were beaten up and flogged by some suspected thugs.
The same pensioners were also attacked with some buckets of water when they matched from Wayhouse Roundabout, Owerri.
According to reports, when the pensioners got to the state government house, some youths also accosted and attacked them.
As they were trying to defend themselves, more youths emerged from an unmarked bus with canes and started flogging and beating the retirees.
Emboldened by the attack, the pensioners fought back the attackers as some of their members particularly women sustained some injuries.
However, the presence of the assistant commissioner of police, Mr. A. J. Moses and a team of anti-cult policemen mitigated the attack on the pensioners.
A pensioner, Dr. Ebenezer Ibekwe pointed accusing fingers at the state government. He alleged that the government hired thugs to disrupt their protest over unpaid pensions.
The pensioner said, “How can you owe an old man like me and declare him a ghost pensioner and still don’t want me to demand my entitlements? Already, they detained our leaders using the DSS. The thugs they hired were flogging pensioners with canes because we said we are not ghost pensioners as they are tagging us”
The senior special assistant to Governor Hope Uzodimma on print media, Modestus Nwamkpa, denied the allegation that government sent thugs to flog pensioners.
Nwamkpa stressed that the state government is frowning at illegal protests in the state, saying “the government has discovered that most of the protesters are not pensioners but members of the opposition being used to discredit the performances of the Hope Uzodimma administration in the state.”