Thugs invade Lagos estate
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).