Posted: December 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


Benue State members of the Radio Theater and Television workers union (RATTAWU), yesterday staged a two hour long protest which obstructed traffic for the duration of the protest. The union members who took to the streets of Markurdi in protest against the refusal of the state government to pay their outstanding night allowanced of N 2, 400,000.00, payment owed as night allowance for the last Abuja carnival performance, marched from the ministry of culture’s office to the Aminu Isa Kontzagora theatre complex yesterday. Information gathered indicates that the protesters were mainly comprised of independent performers from the auditions held by the ministry prior to the carnival. According to sources, the commissioner had signed an agreement with those commissioned by the ministry as freelancers to paqy N12,000.00 as allowance for three nights to be spent by the performers, but unfortunately they ended up exhausting five nights and thus the demands and subsequent protest. The performers who lamented their poor accommodation conditions, told national accord that, they were most bitter by the cost incurred by the first time consultant, Prof. Ojo Bakare, they stated that although the professor of theatre Arts had been paid seventeen million Naira (N17000000.00), for the job they were poorly taken care of by the said consultant and so demanded payment for the un-negotiated nights as the ministry was responsible as according to RATTAWU constitution. The protesters told newsmen that they had initially protested before leaving Abuja the venue of the said carnival but were calmed by the leadership of the union who assured them that their grievances will be taken care of on arrival of Makurdi, which was never to be. The protesters who claimed they had initially been intimidated by hired thugs paid to derail them from their goal stated that after the failure of the hired thugs the government engaged the Nigerian Police to dispersed them and claimed that over 150 of their members had been arrested in connection with the said crisis. The union who claim to have had various successful outings without the aid of consultants has called that the government henceforth pays the outstanding arrears owed independent performers to forestall further protests and also disengage the services of the said consultant as if given a fraction of the amount better performance will be achieved. It is worthy of note here that, the Benue contingents to the carnival excelled in nearly all their outings at the just concluded carnival coming second place in the overall performance but having to withstand harsh living conditions not minding the cost borne by the council.

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