05 October 2015, Port Harcourt – Disengaged members of staff of the PHCN Afam Power Plc in Rivers State have staged a peaceful protest at the Afam Power Station, Okoloma in Oyigbo local government area of the state demanding that they be reinstated.
While calling on the Federal Government to direct the management of Afam Power Station to recall them to their jobs, the disengaged workers said their plight had been worsened by the high level of unemployment in the country.
The protesters, who stormed the gate of the power station, had placards with inscriptions, “We need our Jobs to feed our families”, “Reinstate us back to our jobs”, “Afam Management, Reinstate us back to our jobs until new buyers come,” “Review Privatisation and Sales of PHCN and other government properties, it causes unemployment and enriches few Nigerians “.
Spokesman of the disengaged workers, Mr. Umeze Aniele, told journalists that they were sacked by the management of the station on March 29, 2014, adding: “We were called out for a meeting at Afam I floor and were informed that the job has finished and that new buyers would purchase and take over the company in a few months in the President Goodluck Jonathan privatisation exercise”.
They further explained that they were told a lie and smooth-talked into believing that the company already had a buyer and that everybody was paid off in the company by handing a dismissal letter to about 400 of the staff.
“The truth of the matter is that the amount of money which Afam Power Station Plc management was receiving from PHCN Head Quarters to run the power station as at last March when the workers were disengaged, is the same quantity of money they had been receiving since 2005,” he said.
- This Day