MAKURDI – A protest match by aggrieved primary school teachers drawn from the 23 local government areas of Benue state, Tuesday, went awry at the main entrance of the State Government House where many including women were allegedly beaten by security personnel who also fired teargas canisters at the protesters.
The action of the security operatives created a stampede which left many of the aggrieved teachers sustaining varying degrees of injuries.
The teachers had converged in their numbers as early as 9am at the State Secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, from where they mobilized for the peaceful match which was to terminate at the Government House where they expected Governor Gabriel Suswam to address them.
Some of them carried placards which had inscriptions like: “Suswam don’t kill primary school education in Benue, No minimum wage, no work, no teacher no education and we are tired of this government’s fake promises”
However, tempers rose among the protesters at the entrance of the government house, when the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Simon Anchaver, addressed them and pleaded that he and other representatives be delegated to meet and discuss their grievances with the governor who was said to be already waiting.
At this point, the angry teachers started raining abuses on the NLC chairman, while some were charging at him. This we gathered prompted security personnel to intervene by firing teargas canisters to disperse them.
The resultant stampede left some of the teachers injured, while those who passed out after inhaling the smoke were revived by their colleagues.