The governor, Hope Uzodinma, disclosed this in Owerri, after meeting with the leadership of the state chapters of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, led by Josiah Ugochukwu, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Austin Chilakpu and Trade Union Congress, TUC, at the Government House in Owerri.

The Imo state government Thursday said it has identified two persons, one Ohanaeze Collins and M.C Ameche, who are not pensioners but they led the pension protest in the state.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri, warning that such people were mercenaries hired by politicians in the state to destabilize their government and that such action would not be tolerated again.

According to Emelumba, “The Imo State government has observed that in recent times, many people claiming to be protesters for one course or the other are actually mercenaries hired by politicians to achieve their selfish purposes. A recent case at hand is the so-called pensioners protest on Tuesday, July 28, in front of Government House.

“That protest was led by one Ohaneze Collins and another M.C Ameche, both of whom hail from Mbaise. They are not pensioners and anyone who cares can call them to find out.

“What will they be doing leading a group of people to pensioners protests when they are not pensioners themselves. Obviously, they are mercenaries working for their political paymasters.

“The government is well aware that some characters in the former government of Emeka Ihedioha publicly vowed to make the state ungovernable, having lost out of the governorship race.

“There is no doubt that these sponsored protests are part of the narrative of making the State ungovernable by agents of the past Ihedioha administration. However, it should be known that there is always a limit to the patience of even the most patient and most accommodating mortal.

“The government will henceforth insist that any group wishing to exercise its legitimate right to protest must do so through the recognized leadership of such group, particularly on labour and labour related matters.”

The government warned that “Henceforth too any group of persons who embark on protest without being led by the recognized leadership of the relevant union will be rightly deemed to be on illegal and subversive activity.

“The relevant security agencies will in such case, take control of the situation to ensure the restoration of law and order. Accordingly, the government wishes to advice those involved in these mercenary protests and their sponsors to think deeply of the consequences of their illegal activities before embarking on them.”

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