Pandemonium as Soldiers Beat Protesting Workers in Akwa Ibom

By Paulinus Nta, A’IBOM

Chaos erupted at Sterling Petrochemical Fertilizer Ltd in Okopedi, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, when soldiers attached to the company intercepted and severely beat a truck driver, leaving him unconscious.

The incident occurred around 4PM on Monday, May 14, 2024, during a protest by company workers against what they described as selective and unlawful retrenchment.

These workers had previously protested against what they termed “industrial slavery” and maltreatment by the company two weeks earlier.

It was reported that the workers were demonstrating against punitive actions taken by the company against those who had participated in the earlier protest.

Despite instructions from the local government, the company proceeded with selective retrenchment, which escalated tensions between the workers and the management.

In defiance of the workers’ protest, the company began recruiting new drivers amid the ongoing conflict.

The situation deteriorated when a truck driver from Edemaya clan verbally assaulted the company’s management. This led to an order for the soldiers to assault him, resulting in pandemonium and a temporary breakdown of law and order.

Attempts to speak with the soldiers during the fracas were unsuccessful.

The Ikot Abasi Local Government Chairman, Barr. Godwin Udonta, was unreachable due to the tension.

Chairman of the Industrial Relations Committee, Hon. Eno Umorok, was also unavailable for comment. However, the Vice Chairman of the Industrial Relations Committee, Comrade Louis Inyang, confirmed the incident.

The Community Liaison Officer for Ukpum Ete, Essienubong Idemudo, also confirmed the incident but stated that he was not on duty that day.

Efforts to speak with the soldiers were still unsuccessful at the time of filing this report.

About Olakunle Oyedunmola

A Veteran Journalist | Scriptwriter | Clergy | Photography | Videography | Business Man | An Actor at Medram Network International | A Contractor | Motivational Speaker | A Scout and currently The Chief Correspondent at National Telescope Newspapers,Kwara State Nigeria.

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