Blackout in four northern states, as PHCN workers shut down installations

Power-outage24 October 2013, Abuja – Residents of Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states were yesterday thrown into total darkness following the shutdown of the Mando Transmission Power Plant by the employees of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

The Mando Transmission power plant supplies power to all the four Northern states in Kaduna zone and the shutdown of the power plant paralysed a lot of commercial activities.

Our correspondents gathered that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) workers did not only shutdown the power transmission, but also closed down all PHCN offices across the three states to protest the non-payment of their final entitlements from the federal government.

The workers reiterated their stand to embark on a total showdown should the federal government fail to respect the mutual agreements reached by relevant bodies, and effect payment of their severance entitlements.

The workers under the auspices of National Union of Electricity Employers (NUEE) also advised the so-called investors to stay off all PHCN installations until their entitlements are completely paid to the last kobo as agreed earlier.

NUEE, in a prayer session organized against all impediments to the payment of their entitlements at the headquarters of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) yesterday, said they remained resolute in their demands and will not hesitate to go any length to press their demands.

Addressing newsmen at the commencement of the prayer session, the national vice president of the electricity workers union, Comrade Sikanta Ali Mishelin, said they had decided to hold the prayer sessions to seek the intervention of God in their matter.

“We are holding this prayer session to pray against all those standing against the payment of our entitlements, because the federal government has continued to tell Nigerians lies that our monies have been paid. I want to tell you that such statement is not true; not a single soul can say he has been paid.

“There is no force whatsoever that can intimidate us; we are still going to converge here tomorrow (today) to be addressed by our national leaders on the way forward; in this fight there is no going back,” he stressed.

Other workers who spoke in chorus were heard saying, ‘God will judge this government for what they are making us pass through; Jonathan’s government does not respect agreement,’ among other statements.

Also speaking to LEADERSHIP, NUEE Zonal Secretary, North, Comrade Joseph Ishaya, said it was important for the PHCN to shut down all installations and remain at home until their entitlements were paid.

“How can the federal government take over PHCN when workers from Kaduna distribution zone have not received any money? This is why we directed our members to shut down all transmission stations, offices and remain at home and wait until their entitlements are paid.”

Meanwhile, LEADERSHIP can authoritatively confirm the presence of heavily armed security personnel in four hilux vehicles mounted at the entrance of the PHCN/KEDC headquarters, apparently to footstall the breakdown of law and order.

– Leadership

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