Friday 2 November 2012

Flogging of PHCN staff: Electricity workers vow to go on strike

UNLESS Governor Magatakada Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State tenders an unreserved apology for allegedly flogging members of staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), electricity workers in the North-West zone have threatened to go on strike. The workers specifically asked the people of the state to hold their governor responsible for any eventuality.
They said, in a statement, that the one-week ultimatum given to the governor had expired without him tendering the apology, prompting their union to ask its members to embark on strike if the governor fails to pay compensation and tender an open apology for his action.

The electricity workers in the North-West Zone had given a seven-day ultimatum to the governor within which to apologise for allegedly flogging officials of the PHCN  in his office.

The electricity workers accused Wamakko of personally whipping Mr Moses Osigwe, Business Manager of Gwiwa Business Unit of PHCN, and two other staffers, Mallam Isyaku Daura, Officer II (Electrical) and Nuruddeen Mohammed, Staff l (Lines), after accusing them of being responsible for the failure of two SMVA transformers serving his hometown, Wamakko.

In an earlier letter entitled ‘Demand for Unreserved Apology and Payment of Compensation for Assault on Our Members,’ signed by the Assistant General Secretary of the electricity workers’ union in the zone, Mr Moses Amedu, the union had alleged that Governor Wamakko personally beat the three officials before directing armed policemen attached to the Government House to continue with their torture.

The letter, with reference NUEE/AGS/NW/KD/201 2/120, dated October 31, 2012, said: “We are shocked beyond imagination to learn that on October 20, you invited the Business Manager and two officers to your house, where you subjected them to inhuman treatment by personally whipping them mercilessly and then ordered their continuous flogging by the mobile policemen attached to your office.

“As the Chief Security Officer of the state, whom we are supposed to rely on for the security of the staff and equipment of PHCN in Sokoto State, you have betrayed our hope by this singular and unwarranted act.

“This action can be best described as a rampage and uncontrolled anger. Therefore, except you renew our hope and confidence and tender an unreserved public apology to the staffers you have dehumanised, we can no longer guarantee the continuous service of our members in Sokoto State.

“You should also be prepared to pay compensation that will be sent to your office soon. Accordingly, one week is sufficient to do this.”

However, the one-week ultimatum given by the workers expired on Friday without Wamakko tendering the apology, prompting the union to ask its members to embark on strike if the governor fails to pay compensation and tender an open apology for his action.

The union said: “We regret the inconveniences this unfortunate incident and subsequent action of the union may cause the good citizens of Sokoto State.”

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