Protests, extortions rock N-Power programme in Ebonyi
The Guardian gathered that the unemployed youths, who had besieged the venue of the documentation exercise at the Cabinet Office, Government House, Abakaliki as early as 7am had earlier yielded to the directive of the organisers to go to No 29 Gunning Road Abakaliki to pay the sum of N500 to enable them get documented.
One of the protesting participants in the scheme said that the trouble started when the organisers directed them at about 2.30pm to go back to their different local council areas for further directive.
Angered by the directive to return back to their council areas after several hours of waiting, the frustrated youths trooped to the entrance gate leading to the Governor’s office and blocked the entrance, insisting that either the Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, Donatus Njoku, or any other government official addressed them on the true situation of things before they would vacate the entrance.
After several hours of waiting at the entrance gate of the Governor’s office without any government official addressing them, the youths had to troop back to No. 29 Gunning Road where most of them allegedly paid the sum to retrieve the money (N500) they had already paid to the agents of the organisers of the documentation.
Ewa Uwazuoke, who spoke on the issue expressed regret over the procedure and the slow pace of the exercise and wondered why the organisers would insist that they must pay the sum of N500 before they would be attended to.
“Since we came here early in the morning, we have not even seen the person in charge of Afikpo North LGA. All we have been seeing is that some people in government came to collect the forms of only their own people. We are stranded, distraught and even have no means of going back to our destinations”, he lamented.
When The Guardian visited the Cabinet Office to get the reaction of organisers of the documentation, it was observed that all the organisers had disappeared while the unemployed youths were seen in clusters discussing the unfortunate exercise.
Contacted on the telephone, the State Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, Donatus Njoku denied any knowledge of the development and promised to look into the matter as soon as he finished with the state executive council meeting.