Few days after the Bureau of Public Enterprises (PBE) opened bids for the takeover of successor companies from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the federal government has deployed military personnel to take over the PHCN headquarters in Abuja.
Workers of the PHCN yesterday resumed, but were not allowed close to the gate of the headquarters as a combined team of armed military and police officers ordered them not to come close to the premises.
When LEADERSHIP WEEKEND visited the scene, PHCN workers were chanting union songs, and the access road to the Transcorp Hilton Hotel was blocked, resulting in a chaotic traffic situation around the axis.
Chairman, FCT chapter of the Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Comrade Wisdom Nwachukwu, told journalists that the trouble started on Wednesday when officials of Manitoba Hydro International Ltd, had come to take over the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
‘’We told them that we have been having negotiation with government. We told them that there is a standing order to remain in status quo until labour issues are resolved. We refused to let them in because we were not aware of their coming and have not been instructed to let them in by our national secretariat,’’ he said.
He stated that to their surprise, when workers started resuming for work around 6.30 am, they met about 62 armed military personnel who had taken over the place.
‘’They are not talking to us and would not let us go near. Is this the kind of Nigeria we have all dreamed of, a situation where people’s rights are infringed upon,’’ he lamented.