Thugs in­vade La­gos es­tate

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

Over 50 thugs at the week­end in­vaded Eg­bin Hous­ing Es­tate in La­gos, al­legedly on the or­ders of man­age­ment of Eg­bin Power Plc to flush out oc­cu­pants who are not in the em­ploy of the com­pany.

The oc­cu­pants of the es­tate in­clude re­tirees of the de­funct Power Hold­ing Com­pany of Nige­ria(PHCN),staff of Trans­mis­sion Com­pany of Nige­ria(TCN) and per­son­nel of Eg­bin Power Plc.

A re­tiree, who sought anonymity, told our cor­re­spon­dent that the thugs ar­rived the es­tate in five coastal buses.

She said they stole her money, jew­elleries and de­stroyed other per­sonal ef­fects.

But an of­fi­cial of the com­pany said they had noth­ing to do with the al­leged in­va­sion.

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Eg­bin Power Plc, Dal­las Peavey, in a state­ment at the week­end, said the con­tin­ued pres­ence of illegal oc­cu­pants at the Eg­bin Power Plc. Hous­ing Es­tate con­sti­tuted a ma­jor chal­lenge to en­sur­ing sus­tained trans­for­ma­tion as well as se­cu­rity of lives and prop­erty on the plant.

He said Eg­bin whose sus­tained 1,100mw gen­er­a­tion was driv­ing re­cent in­crease in the na­tion’s power sup­ply faced a huge set­back from the cur­rent hous­ing con­straints due to ‘‘illegal’’ oc­cu­pants who were for­mer em­ploy­ees of the de­funct Power Hold­ing Com­pany of Nige­ria (PHCN).

Peavey said the ‘‘il­le­git­i­mate res­i­dents, their wards and cer­tain groups in the com­mu­nity have been linked to plans to dis­rupt oper­a­tions of the plant and other mis­de­meanours such as in­ci­dences of rape, rob­beries and van­dal­ism that are al­ready oc­cur­ring on the fa­cil­ity’’.

He said no fewer than 150 mem­bers of staff were be­ing de­nied ac­com­mo­da­tion by the sit­u­a­tion, a de­vel­op­ment he added had led to end­less cases of “trauma and im­peded pro­duc­tiv­ity” in the com­pany.

Our cor­re­spon­dent re­ports that 12 apart­ments of work­ers of the Trans­mis­sion Com­pany of Nige­ria, were sacked by the thugs.

Some ejected staff of the TCN and re­tirees were also seen mov­ing out their per­sonal ef­fects. A se­nior staff of the TCN, ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion over their ejec­tion by Eg­bin Power Plc, ‘‘with­out due process and req­ui­site quit no­tice’’.

He al­leged that one of his staff was beaten by the sol­diers sta­tioned at the en­try point of the com­pany over an ar­gu­ment that bor­dered on fail­ure of the lat­ter to ren­der full ac­count of his per­sonal ef­fects.

Another staff of the trans­mis­sion com­pany told our cor­re­spon­dent that the ac­tion of the Eg­bin Power Plc would af­fect elec­tric­ity sup­ply. A re­tiree of the de­funct PHCN,Al­haji La­teef, who claimed to have been liv­ing in the es­tate for about 31years, said they had con­tested en­croach­ment of the prop­erty by Eg­bin Power Plc at a La­gos High Court, adding that ver­dict on the suit was fixed for Oc­to­ber 22,this year.

He told our cor­re­spon­dent that the re­tirees would ap­proach the court to­day(Mon­day) to chal­lenge the cur­rent ac­tion of the power com­pany.

Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Se­nior Staff As­so­ci­a­tion of Elec­tric­ity and Al­lied Com­pa­nies(SSEAC),Bar­ris­ter Duba­gari Umar Abubakar, also flayed the ac­tion. He crit­i­cized the Bureau of Public En­ter­prises(BPE) for what he called shoddy pri­va­ti­za­tion of the de­funct Power Hold­ing Com­pany of Nige­ria(PHCN).

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