Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PHCN workers begin industrial action over troops at facilities


The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) yesterday deplored the decision of the Federal Government to deploy troops to guard PHNC installations nationwide. They described the action as irrational, considering that talks are still ongoing over the privatization of the PHCN.
The union asked its members to embark on peaceful demonstrations across the states to protest the occupation of the installations.
President of NUEE, Comrade Mansur Musa said the peaceful marches are intended to protest the non payment of the 50 per cent salary increment since June as well as the harassment of its members by security officials.
“They have been detaining and releasing our members, this cannot continue. We would continue to protest peacefully until the soldiers are removed” he said.
He described as false and misleading the claim by the government that the troops were deployed to guard the installations to forestall attacks by the Boko Haram.
The union issued a statement signed by its General Secretary Joe Ajaero. The statement said officials from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) who accompanied the soldiers to the installations are not trained to curb terrorist attacks. 
“This singular act of basing their irrational decision of drafting troops in order to secure their infamous privatization on Boko Haram is an open invitation to the Sect that there are PHCN Installations to attack.  This definitely is not in the interest of our facilities and staff.  Ordinarily, this should have been a security issue that must not be politicised,” the statement read. 
Ajaero alleged government deployed troops to ensure that the sale of the PHCN goes on without any hitch. He urged the members of the union to be security conscious and avoid confrontation with the armed troops.
He urged Nigerians to understand the situation should there be interruption of power supply.