*Protester cripple commission for two days running over deduction of salary arrears, others
An overzealous mobile police officer on Tuesday mistakenly shot his colleague on the leg in an attempt to disperse protesting workers of Delta State oil Producing Area commission, (DESOPADEC).
Hundreds of Staff of the commission had laid sieged to the headquarters of the oil commission along Warri/Sapele road in protest of deduction of salary arrears, non promotion of staff for ten years running among other issues.
The protest which caused serious traffic jam along the ever busy road, prompted the police officers attached to the commission to fire teargas and volume of shots in the air to disperse the protesting workers but unfortunately a shot hit a police officer who was immediately rushed to hospital for treatment.
The condition of the officer who hit on leg by bullet fired by his colleague is said to critical as at press time, as he has been transferred from Warri Central Hospital where he was first rushed for medical attention.
The workers under the auspices of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE), DESOPADEC branch, hitched their protest on failure of the management to approve allowances and other benefits due to them since 2010.
Some of the placard bore by the protesters read; “Ten years in DESOPADEC yet nothing”, “we say no to clocking”, “Okowa come carry us oh!”, “we need our allowance”, “Lucas must go” among others.
Addressing the protesters, Comrade John Osah, chairman junior staff of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Technical and Recreational Service Employees( AUPCTRE) DESOPADEC branch said that the protest was stemmed from failure of management to address their plight since 2010.
“Since 2010 there has been no promotion in DESOPADEC, which is not supposed to be, there are a lot of benefits for us but the management are not looking at them.
He said that the management often complain of paucity of funds to attend to issues concerning the junior workers but don’t so same when it concern them
“Whenever we talk about improvement in our condition of service, they tell us it is invalid but when it comes to their own, they will always want to play along, there are so many things they are deducting from us, we have bonus at the end of every year to be paid to each staff, they didn’t pay us till 2015.
“In 2016 they said there were no enough funds to go about it, we allowed them but in 2017 they failed again and say it is in the Government table, that they are trying to do something, we waited for long, until the entire staff resolved to say this is the only manner with which we can get our matter treated.
Osah said that there is a salary table that needed to be followed since 2010 till date, adding the issue of 30 percent deducted from staff should be restored, noting that it’s illegal and insensitive deduction.
Also speaking a staff who alleged to be brutalised by the security personnel’s attached to the commission office, Austine Ejabulor said, “I didn’t engaged any security officer in fight, it was a peaceful protest as you can see, but I was beaten, my head was wounded by the officers here, all we asked them for is our money, our benefit, no problem, we didn’t use violence, but Lucas want to kill us for our right.
Akporere Friday, a staff who also sustained arm injuries alleged to be inflicted by the security personnel spoke in pidgin thus; ” I dey with my placard o!, when ASP Lucas send him boys to beat me, I nor carry anything, we nor come fight here oh!, na our right we stand for, them beat me wound my hand o! because of my right”.