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Armless ex-PHCN worker threatens to commit suicide over neglect, unpaid compensation

Mr Tairu Quadri, whose two arms were amputated after an explosion during an  official assignment  as a former staff member of the defunct PHCN on…

Mr Tairu Quadri, whose two arms were amputated after an explosion during an  official assignment  as a former staff member of the defunct PHCN on Monday threatened to commit suicide over neglect and unpaid compensation.

Quadri, who is married with two children, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that since the incident occurred in 2008, he had been living a hopeless life.

He appealed to the Ikeja Electric (IE) to urgently come to his assistance in procuring and maintaining his prosthesis, permanent accommodation and compensation for the damage.

Quadri recounting the incident that led to the amputation of his two arms said that he joined the defunct PHCN as a casual worker in 2001.

Quadri  from Odo-Ayan, Omojoda Town, Epe Local Government Area of  Lagos State told NAN that he  was studying Electrical Engineering at the OlabisiOnabanjo University (OOU) in Ogun when the sad incident occurred.

“ I was employed by the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) as a casual worker in 2001.

“I was posted to the fault section, Oworonsoki-undertaking,  Ifako-Gbagada  with Mr Jimoh Olanbiwoninu as my supervisor.

“I was working at this section until 2003 when I was transferred to Maryland Service Centre. In 2004/2005 academic session; I gained admission to study Electrical Engineering at the OOU.

“In 2008, I was at the defunct NEPA for my Industrial Training Programme (ITP), but this time its name had been changed to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

“The company sent me to its Magodo Service Centre for my ITP,” he said.

Quadri said his destiny changed for the worse on May 5, 2008 during a fault-rectification due to lack of coordination between Ojodu District dispatch man and the 11kva operator at Maryland, who was later sacked.

“On May 5, 2008, I was electrocuted while trying to clear a fault at Okowora Undertaking at Magodo Centre along with other service team.

“However, I was lucky to be alive after the incident and was transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for medical attention.

“In order to save my life, the LUTH’s medical team treating me said my two hands had to be amputated. I had no option than to agree to the proposal,” he said.

Quadri said that he underwent four different operations at the Burns Unit, LUTH, which spanned one year and four months.

After that, I was discharged from LUTH so as to go for further treatment abroad which materialised in 2009.

He said that when he was in LUTH, a committee from the then PHCN, Ikeja Zone, came to visit him and promised to make appropriate recommendations to its management.

Quadri, however, said nothing was done until his case got to the Ministry of Power and the management of PHCN was directed to treat it the urgency it required.

“Therefore, I was flown to India for prosthetic surgery; this was intended to aid my mobility.

“The travelling was coordinated from the Abuja head office of the then PHCN.

“But all I can say about my treatment in India was that it was a complete fraud because provision for my prosthesis was sublet twice.

“I came back to Nigeria disappointed, sad and with a heavy grief because of the prosthesis provided.

“I was, however, persuaded by the management of PHCN that it would take decisive and urgent actions on my matter.

“Consequently, an ad-hoc committee was set up to look into my case and make recommendations.

“They met me at the PHCN clinic, Oshodi, in March 2010 to tell them my demands.

“I demanded for an urgent replacement of my prosthesis, a permanent accommodation and compensation.

“The committee approved these three demands and added that some allowances be given to me to ease my suffering which included paying for my accommodation temporarily.

“ The management quickly paid for my temporary accommodation but failed to act on the main demands till now,” he said.

He said that the management had stopped paying for the temporary accommodation since October 2013 when it was privatised.

Quadri said that since privatisation of the defunct PHCN gave birth to Ikeja Electric and others distribution companies.

He said that the Ikeja Electric that was supposed to be responsible for solving his problems since his matter falls under its jurisdiction had been treating him like a leper every time he visited it for his demands.

He said that the officials of the company were not attending to him any longer.

Quadri said that one of the officials of the company had advised him to take N2million the company wanted to give him and `walk away’.

“This money cannot do anything because I want to go back to school to finish my education.

“I have two children and a wife to take care of; now with no hands how will I be able to cater for my family.

“I am living from the help I had been receiving from friends and family members.

“The IE had reneged on its promise to replace my amputated arms with working one, this incident has made me completely useless to my family.

“What is the essence of my living without hands, the only hope I have is being dashed. It is now about nine years since I lost my hands.

“If I cannot get my hands back, then I should be compensated and given a permanent job by the company I risked my life for.

“At present, I owe my landlord a year’s rent and if I can’t pay by end of February, I know what will happen.

“My patience is running out; please do something Ikeja Electric.

“ I lost everything while working for you, I will put an end to this miserable life if these three demands are not meant,’’ he said emotionally.

Mr Felix Ofulue, the Head, Corporate Communication Unit, Ikeja Electric, expressed the sympathy of IE to Quadri when NAN asked him what IE was doing to ameliorating his plights.

Ofulue, however, said the incident happened nine years before the privatisation of the PHCN, adding that Quadri was not a staff member of Ikeja Electric.

He said all the liabilities of the defunct PHCN had been transferred to the Nigerian Liability Management Limited (NELMCO) shortly before the privatisation of the sector.

Ofulue advised Quadri to seek assistance from NELMCO where he believed his file would be treated.


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