Showdown in Sokoto: NLC threatens strike over Gov. Wammako’s alleged flogging of PHCN staff

by Isi Esene

The Nigerian Labour Congress is threatening to go on strike over allegations that the Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamakko flogged a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) staff to a state of coma.

NLC president, Abdulwaheed Omar threatened that the labour union is prepared to shut all economic activities in the state if the governor refuses to apologize for his actions.

He reportedly said the governor’s action was a violation of the fundamental human rights of the PHCN worker and also exposed the limit of the governor’s exposure to democratic ideals.

According to the NLC: “Since the governor has opted to ignore the union’s modest request for apology and consequently put the whole state in total blackout, it is clear that his intentions were not just to violate the rights of the PHCN worker but also to inflict deeper hardships on the citizenry.

“By any standards, what the governor did was not just barbaric, irresponsible but coming from a man of his political standing, it also sends a disturbing signal to ordinary citizens who may decide to follow the governor’s example by opting for jungle justice rather than follow legal and constitutional procedures.

“A governor should behave differently from a tout. A street fighter is not fit enough for any public office in a decent country.

“We will invoke our collective slogan of An Injury to One is an Injury to All.

“Congress is, therefore, putting every worker in both the public and private sectors in Sokoto State on notice by directing all unions to commence mobilisation towards a solidarity action by the entire workers of the state against this barbaric act by the governor, if he does not accede to the demand of the union to apologize,” the statement read in part.

The acting managing director of the PHCN in Sokoto State, Mohammed Adamu, had, in a press briefing in October, accused the governor and some of his aides of beating one of its staff mercilessly blaming him for the lack of power supply to his hometown.

“On Saturday, 20th October, 2012, an unusual and unfortunate event took place which was beyond our comprehension. On the said date our business manager, Giwa Business Unit, Sokoto state, Moses Osigwe, was invited by the Executive Governor of the State, Aliyu Magatarkada Wamakko to his personal residence, over the issue of lack of power supply to his hometown, Wamakko, as a result of a failed 2.5MVA transformer.

“He accused our staff of deliberately denying his community, Wamakko, of power supply. As the business manager was trying to explain to him, the governor just brought out a horse whip (popularly known as koboko in Hausa language) and lashed him to a pulp,” Adamu said.

With the NLC unequivocally stating its stance, we ask, “what would Wammako do… again?”

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