NNPC security guards protest non-payment of 22-month salaries

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…As NSCDC arrests 112 suspects in 2018, over various offences***

Private security guards attached to the National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) largely to protect the Corporation’s oil pipelines from Lokoja to Kaduna, Thursday staged a peaceful protest, blocking Abaji NNPC Depot, over non-payment of 22 months’ salary arrears.

The protesting workers who blocked the entrance to the NNPC Depot at Awawa, Abaji Area Council, FCT and denied members of staff, petrol tankers and visitors entry.

The security guards, who are employees of MRS Limited, carried placards bearing inscriptions such as: “Pay us our 22-months salaries, “We are not slaves” and “We will block Abuja-Lokoja Road if we are not paid.”

The spokesman of the protesting workers, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaja, lamented that when they were working directly under the NNPC, they were paid as and when due; as well as received other benefits, until MRS Limited took over.

“Other security guards doing the same work at Warri, Port Harcourt and Katsina, have been paid, but we at Lokoja-Kaduna axis have not been paid.

“When we were working directly under the NNPC, our salaries were constant and we worked under good condition.

“But when MRS Limited took over, there is no provision for even torch lights, raincoats and rain boots to enable us work properly.

“All we want is our salaries paid; as well as going back to work directly under the NNPC and not MRS Limited,” Kaja said.

He urged the government to intervene in order to resolve the dispute and forestall any breakdown of law and other.

Other protesters, Muhammed Hassan and Umar Isa, lamented that the MRS action had exposed them to hardship and unbearable conditions.

Hassan accused the management of MRS Limited of being insensitive to their plight, alleging that the management had turned deaf ears to their demand for payment of their salaries.

Alhaji Sani Mohammed, the Abaji NNPC Pumping Depot manager declined comments on the situation, when his view was sought.  

Mohammed said MRS Limited was responsible for the security guards and was in a better position to respond or address the media.

Meanwhile, the Niger State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said Thursday, that it arrested 112 suspects for different offences between January and December 2018.

The state Commandant of the NSCDC, Mr Philip Ayuba, indicated this in Minna, noting that most of it’s cases were settled out of court while some were undergoing court processes.

He said that 22 suspects were arrested for alleged armed robbery, 14 for kidnapping, six for rape, 60 for alleged house-breaking and theft , two for cattle rustling and 8 were released  for want of evidence .

He explained that the command settled various disputes, including 98 domestic, 15 land cases and four communal.

He attributed the successes recorded by the corps to the support and cooperation from members of the public.

He, therefore, appealed to the public to sustain the relationship and always be security conscious by reporting strange and suspicious activities in their neighbourhood for prompt action.

The NSCDC boss warned politicians and party supporters against thuggery during the forthcoming general elections.

Ayuba explained that the warning became necessary following the commitment of the command to provide a level-playing ground toward ensuring crises-free 2019 polls in the state.

“We will arrest and charge to court any politician or youth caught perpetrating violence during the political campaigns.

“We will not fold our hands and watch any politician or group of youths carry arms before, during and after the elections,” he said.