Armed soldiers of the Nigerian Army reportedly stormed the office of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) in Kebbi State and brutalised its staff for failure to supply electricity to their barracks.
The Kebbi State regional manager of the company, Gaddafi Ibrahim, confirmed the assault in a video circulated online, saying the soldiers beat up staff and customers on Saturday.
He said the soldiers accused KAEDCO of not supplying adequate electricity to the barracks despite their sacrifices to the country.
He said 14 people, including private security guards, customers, and marketers were beaten mercilessly and forced to make “frog jump” by the armed military personnel.
“Around 1pm or so, the military operatives stormed our office. I was seating with my superior, who came from Sokoto. On getting outside, we saw them assaulting and brutalising some of our staff and customers.
“They were asked to pull off their clothes and do frog jumps.
“When we approached them, they told us they were here to complain that they have not been given adequate power supply. They also said it was disrespectful for us to have light and leave them in darkness.
“I told them that in the past six months that I have been posted here, I have never received a complaint from the barracks, but they vowed not to allow those doing frog jumps to stop until the light is restored in the barracks. I had to order for their light to be restored immediately,” he said.
Mr Gaddafi noted that the situation would have been bloody had he not prevented the mobile policemen attached to the office from interfering.
“The mobile policemen attached to the office wanted to resist them but I had to stop them,” he added.
A statement by the deputy general secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEC) in charge of North, Haruna Tinau, condemned the military assault on its members and demanded a total blackout for the Birnin Kebbi Barracks until the culprits are brought to book.
Mr Tinau said, “The assault came to us as a rude shock even as we are yet to recover from the detention of our members in Port Harcourt Electric under similar reason by the Nigerian Civil Defence.
“This is unacceptable and must be resisted so as to deter others with similar barbaric intentions from taking such ugly action in the nearest future.
“The association demand for total blackout for the Birnin Kebbi Barracks until the culprits are brought to book.
“Our Association shall no longer watch this senseless action by any other groups or individuals and in this regard hereby call on all our members in Birnin Kebbi to stay away from your offices until your safety is guaranteed.”