….unions threaten service withdrawal over assault, others
An Army Corporal, Ibrahim Auta NA07NA2672 of the 266, Light Battalion, Abuja has reportedly pounced on a female marketer with Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc. (AEDC), leaving a deep cut on her head.
Miss Khadijat Umar is already assisting the Mararaba Division of the Nigeria Police in their investigations.
Outraged by the spate of attacks on its workers, AEDC Management has threatened to institute law suit against the Corporal, Customs Officer and three other persons who had in the last few weeks assaulted AEDC staff.
Khadijat Umar was on a house-to-house routine revenue recovery exercise with other colleagues when they found out that the house where Corporal Auta lives which was earlier disconnected had been reconnected.
Auta’s attention was drawn to their presence in his neighbourhood and when he saw that their ladder was resting on the electric pole in front of his house.
An argument broke out over the issue of illegal reconnection and the decision of the AEDC staff to disconnect his house for outstanding debt and illegal reconnection, witnesses said.
In the process, Auta slapped and flogged Khadijat Umar with his Army belt.
Reacting to the incident, the MD/CEO of the company observed: “ln the last few weeks, AEDC has seen a sudden increase in serious assault occasioning harm visited on its staff.
“This is unacceptable to us as a business entity. We owe our workers the duty to provide protection for them in the course of doing their lawful work.
“We are currently working with the relevant security agents to ensure that those involved in this disdainful conduct.
“They include (i) Mr. Iliyasu Ayuba, the Customs Officer who used a service weapon to threaten our staff in Minna and forced them to reconnect him even when he is owing a huge debt, (ii) Army Corporal Ibrahim Auta who conducted himself in a manner contrary to service rules and regulations by beating up a harmless woman, and (iii) the old man that wielded two machetes against AEDC Staff whilst going about their lawful duties are brought to justice”.
In their separate reactions, the FCT Chairman of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Mr Godfrey Abah and the FCT Branch President of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) , Mr Leticia Ejendu have also said the two labour unions may be constrained to ask their members to withdraw their service and stop working in locations where any of them is attacked.
“Reports from our various members have shown an increase in attacks on our staff.
“These attacks are unlawful, unwarranted and provocative.
“Our members cannot work round the clock to provide electricity only for them to be beaten up and severely injured by some few misguided elements in the society when we go back to request payment for the services rendered.
“We have told management that if in future this is allowed to happen again, our workers will have to take appropriate lawful steps to protect themselves,” the unions said.