11 March 2014, Akure – Administrative activities were grounded at the Ondo town Business District (OBD) office of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)now being controlled by Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
This followed a protest embarked upon by contract staffs working in the security department of the organization.
The organization’s main gate was shut by the protesting workers who gathered in groups discussing the development in hushed tones
The spokesman of the aggrieved workers, Oluwole Olowu, who claimed to be the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the organization, said they embarked on the protest to demand for the payment of their five months salary.
The workers numbering about 50 dressed in Nigerian legion uniform and carried placards with various inscriptions such as “BEDC pay us our salary,” “Our children are hungry” “we want to pay our children school fees” ”we want to pay our house rent”and others.
According to Oluwole, the workers had written letters to the company informing them of their decision to embark on peaceful demonstration, adding that they have also written to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Yaba Police station in Ondo town to inform them ahead of the protest.
He however alleged some top officials of the organization for being the brains behind the delay in payment of their salary arrears.
He vowed that the workers would not except something tangible was done by the zonal district
of the company at Benin City, Edo State Capital.
The Ondo State Public Relations Officer (PRO) of BEDC, Mr. Oghale Eduzaire, said the problem is in-house which affected not only the security officers alone but all casual workers in the company including members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in the company.
He said the Manager of the company has been away to Benin-city, Edo State for three days to resolve the problem, assuring the protesters that the problem would be resolve within the next few days.
Orghale however reiterated the determination of the company towards the improvement of the welfare of the workers while calling on them to always embrace dialogue in resolving any issue with the organization.
As at press time, senior officials of the company including customers were not allowed to enter the premises of the company.
The road leading to the area was barricaded by the protesting workers.
– The Nation