AGGRIEVED staff of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest in Enugu on Wednesday over the alleged anti-labour policies and insensitivity to staff welfare by management of the company.
Reports said that the demonstration was held simultaneously in other four capitals of the states that make up the Southeast geo-political zone namely; Awka, Abakaliki, Umuahia and Owerri. Atleast three persons were reported to have been arrested by the police in Nnewi in Anaambra State over the protest.
NIGERIAN TRIBUNE observed that the protesters marched through the major streets of Enugu metropolis before moving to the headquarters of EEDC along Okpara Avenue where they were prevented from entry into the premises of the company by security operatives.
A detachment of police, DSS and army were seen manning the main entrance of the EEDC as at the time of the demonstration apparently to forestall the protest from escalating into a higher dimension that could lead to destruction of the company’s equipment by miscreants.
Some of the placards carried by the protesters read: “Emeka Offor give EEDC workers freedom”, “EEDC stop sacking workers arbitrary” “EEDC why rejecting Loans from Transmission Companies”.
Speaking to reporters, the Spokesman of the protesters, Comrade Cypril Ndubuisi, wondered why the management of the EEDC had continued to sack workers of the company arbitrarily even when it had rejected loan from transmission companies to improve the fortunes of the establishment.
Ndubuisi said, “Enough is enough. They do not want to dialogue with labour leaders because they know that what they are doing is wrong. We have declared 3-day for peaceful demonstration so that the world will know the pains we are passing through in the hands of EEDC management”.
“What they called privatization is scam. The lat government used it as political patronage. They are not prepared to invest in the power sector. They just want to invest where they did not sow”
According to him, “the protest which is held in all the five states of the Southeast region came after the 14 day ultimatum and 7 days given to EEDC expired. The EEDC could not follow the procedure issued to them by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The NUEE in conjunction with NLC and Civil Societies group organized this protest today to stop the abnormal behavior of the EEDC”.
Efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of the EEDC, Emeka Eze, were not fruitful as he was said to have go out of Enugu for an official assignment.
Meanwhile, the Human Resources Manager, Doctor Nwokolo, told the security operatives to make sure the angry staff did not gain entry into the EEDC premises during the protest.