On Monday, 23rd of January, workers of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) stormed their Owerri and Imo state offices in protest. The protest shut down EEDC offices in Royce road, New Owerri, Orlu and Mbaise.
The workers claimed that the protest was against anti-labour policies. According to Augustine Mbakwe, who led the group in Owerri, he listed “de-humanizing of workers” are one of the reasons for the protest. He also stated that EEDC management has made the working condition too harsh for the workers.
He said: “We are out here today to protest the refusal of EEDC to install metres for Nigerians, arbitrary and crazy billing, indiscriminate sack of workers, intimidation and harassment of workers with security agents.
“In this place, we do not have job security and we are suffering from so many anti-labour policies,” he said, adding that the demonstration will last for a week.”
Also, in Enugu, EEDC workers did a protest march. Some of their signs read; arbitrary sacking of staff, crazy billing, poor working condition, ritual of burning live cows, high bill, more darkness and no meter for customers.
They claimed that EEDC, last week, sacked no fewer than 400 staff and replaced them with alleged compromised new staff.
However, the leader of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Applied Company, SSAEAC, Christian Okonkwo, reacted, claiming that the previous staff managed the company poorly.
“They were not qualified to manage the company. They were just collecting money from people without service,” Okonkwo said.
In Eboyin state, a similar protest was held. However, this time. About 50 electricity consumers joined by students of Eboyin State University (EBSU), embarked on a peaceful protest for effective power generation and distribution across the state. The protest paralysed business operations at the branch headquarters of EDDC in Ebonyi State for over two hours.