News Nationwide blackout looms as electricity workers threaten strike

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Nationwide blackout looms as electricity workers threaten strike

News Nationwide blackout looms as electricity workers threaten strike

Electricity pylons carrying power from Koeberg nuclear power plant are seen in Cape Town, South Africa, file. REUTERS-Sumaya Hisham

A nationwide blackout is imminent as electricity workers, under the aegis of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), have vowed to down tool if the Police and other security operatives continue to lay siege at their offices across the federation as witnessed early Wednesday morning.

The workers, who held a peaceful protest at the Abuja Headquarters of the TCN on Wednesday; also kicked against the sack of Usman Mohammed as the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and the appointment of Suleiman Abdulaziz, in an acting capacity.

The union leaders, who address journalists amidst the peaceful protest expressed shocked that their members across the country resumed office on Wednesday to meet the heavy presence of security men, including the Police and military men at their offices.

The union, therefore, directed all its members to pull out if their offices and work stations are militarised, as witnessed on Wednesday.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the Zonal Organising Secretary of NUEE, Comrade Ayodele Kolade expressed concern on the development, stressing that the Labour Union cannot work under such ‘militarisation’, thus the union would remain resolute until the Federal Government revert its decision.

“While we commend our members for their response to the sad action of the Minister, we urge them to remain on their work bits but should not fail to pull out should the work stations be militarised as witnessed in some locations today,” the union stated.

The protesting workers criticised the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, for allegedly influencing the sack of the Managing Director amidst the COVID-19 pandemic; but yet found it difficult to implement the agreement reached with the union since 10th February 2020.

Comrade Kolade said the 60 days implementation deadline of the agreement had since expired, but the minister had refused to act on it on the presence of COVID-19 but could pursue and obtain the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari, to remove the MD.

He said: “If the Minister can obtain approval to unseat the MD during COVID-19 pandemic, he should be able to obtain approval to implement the agreement with the workers.

“Premised on the foregoing, we hereby call for the immediate resignation of the non-performing Minister of power who has displayed sufficient lack of knowledge in the ministry he supervises.”

The union, however, commended the sacked TCN MD for generating revenue for the FG during his tenure; he was also applauded for stabilising the power network and to have protected the nation’s interest against ‘foreign predators’.

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