Outgoing Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero, on Friday, May 15 2015 escaped being mobbed by hundreds of graduate trainees in the state capital protesting the non-payment of their allowances for five months.
The Governor was absent at the distribution of cheques to beneficiaries of the N1bn (£3.18m) partnership fund between the state government and Bank of Industry (BoI), and was represented by his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga.
Angry graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (Smedan), overwhelmed security officials and forced themselves into the General Hassan Katsina House in the Kawo suburb of Kaduna. where the event took place only to find the deputy governor who unluckily bore the brunt of their grievances.
It was gathered by The Punch that the programme immediately came to an end as the graduate trainees kept chanting in loud voices “What we are saying, give us our money!”
Government officials and other guests from the BoI were forced to rushed into their waiting vehicles and leave the venue of the event. Inscriptions on some of the placards displayed by the protesters read:
“SMEDAN programme is a fraud; This is 419; Give us our entitlements; We have not been paid any kobo but the state government said it has paid us; You cannot use us and dump us; we are tired of this government.”
A spokesman for the trainees, Abdulraman Salihu, said: “We finished training since January this year but the government refused to pay us and what we are hearing from people is that we have been paid but nobody paid us any kobo. We are entitled to N1bn across the state but up till now we have not been paid.”
This incident comes after the Kaduna state House of Assembly on Thursday, May 14, 2015 threatened to impeach the current state governor of the state Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, over what they cited as last minute looting and squandering of public funds.