By Victor Young & Bose Adelaja
Over 200 aggrieved wives of electricity workers at Egbin Power Plant, Ijede, Ikorodu, Lagos State, have stormed the firm’s premises, demanding that their husbands be allowed to come home to attend to family needs.
The protesting women claimed that their husbands had not been allowed to return home since March 27 when the Federal Government locked down Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The protesting women were recorded shouting and begging the management of the power plant to allow their husbands come home to attend to their conjugal and other matrimonial responsibilities.
The women said they had been exposed to hunger, insecurity, besides the fact that the children were also missing their fathers.
It was gathered that the protesters were later addressed by a senior management staff of the station, who promised that their plights would be looked into, soon.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has petitioned the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MD\CEO, of the firm, rejecting the perceived inhuman conditions the workers had been exposed to since March 27, when they were not allowed to go home.
In a letter dated May 28 by NUEE General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, the union said: “Report reaching us states that workers in Egbin Power Plc have been locked down in the station since March 27, 2020.
“You will recall that Federal Government had directed total lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, while essential service providers were given the leverage to move to their work locations in order to provide services.
“After one month of total lockdown, the Federal Government directed a partial lockdown with a curfew, which enables economic activities to gradually pick up, while complying with laid down safety standards.
“As it stands, the report indicates that these workers locked in since March 27, have been denied access to buying food stuff and other consumables outside the Station.
“Also, they have been denied access to family members and loved ones, while the Station’s contractors from several parts of the country are allowed access to and from the station on daily basis.
“Management’s food/palliative has been grossly inadequate to carter for a family of six for this period, hence there are massive cries of hunger from the workers and their dependants.
“In order not to starve to death, these workers have to smuggle money across to people outside the gate to help purchase a few items, which cost them more than three times the price amidst harassment by security men at the gate.
“The workers have been compelled to spend more with very little to show for it, thus subjecting them to more pain, hardship and embarrassment.
“We are calling on Egbin Power Plc’s management to reinstate workers’ right to live and allow their families and friends access to them in order to reduce the psychological trauma they are passing through without further delay.
“They should be allowed to equally buy foodstuff and other commodities outside the station to sustain their families.”