Quite a number of ‘unemployed’ graduates from the 13 Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, who were enlisted for the N-Power documentation exercise, on Monday protested alleged extortion by organisers of the programme.
Premium Times gathered that about 200 of the unemployed graduates stormed the venue of the documentation exercise as early as 7 a.m., and then yielded to the directive of the organisers to go to Number 29, Gunning road, Abakaliki, and pay the sum of N500 to enable them be documented.
However, trouble started when the organisers directed them at about 2:30 p.m. to go back to their different local government areas for further directive.
Apparently peeved by the directive after waiting several hours in the heat of the sun, the youth besieged the entrance gate leading to the governor’s office and subsequently created a barricade at the entrance.
The protesting youth demanded that either the Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, Donatus Njoku, or any other government functionary must address them before they would vacate the entrance.
Following hours of waiting, after which no government functionary responded to them, the protesters went back to Number 29, Gunning road where most of them had paid the N500 – as they insisted on getting their money back.
Speaking to reporters, some of the protesting youth spoke in regret over the procedure and slow outcome of the exercise, wondering why the organisers would insist that they must pay N500 before they would be attended to.
The N-Power is a federal government initiative that is currently employing 200,000 unemployed graduates across the country with a pay of N30,000 monthly.