Workers of Bendel Brewery lament vandalism of company’s assets
OVER 15 years after it was shut down, angry staff of the state-owned moribund Bendel Brewery Limited, Benin, staged a peaceful protest to draw government’s attention to the alleged unbridled vandalism of assets of the company at the factory on Agbor Road.
The staff, who first stormed the premises of the Edo State House of Assembly, downtown Ring Road to kick against the pilfering before proceeding to Government House, used the opportunity to demand for the payment of their terminal benefits.
In a protest letter signed by the quartet of Victor Aivhenyor, Patrick Alebun, Sunday Izevbokum and Stephen Aniemeke on behalf of the entire workers and addressed to Alhaji Kabiru Adjoto, the speaker of the House and Governor Godwin Obasekirespectively, they appealed to the state government to come to their assistance as they were only living by the grace of God.
They reminded that the company, which went out of production since 2014, had become homestead to vandals and thieves.
They also disclosed that security in the company had been rendered helpless as a result of incessant attacks on the guards deployed to watch over the it.
They listed some of the assets stolen to include transformers, air-conditioners, machinery amongst others while cables of the vandalised machines were also carted away by the thieves.
They wrote, “we workers of defunct Bendel Brewery Company Limited, write to passionately appeal to your excellency to save our souls.”
They claimed that many of their colleagues and their families were in abject poverty, while some had died and some on hospital beds.
They continued, “we are not unmindful of the economic crisis in the state, we are appealing to you to feel our pains and kindly look into the submitted terminal benefits list for all workers across board and consider those of us on deployment for payment to enable us get engaged on any business that can also alleviate our sufferings.”
For attempting to challenge the thieves, the petitioners said that one of the security guards, Mr. Etsede Lucky, deployed by the Ministry of Wealth Creation, Employment and Cooperative to the company was badly beaten up by the vandals who left him with a broken head, teeth and disjointed waist.
They said further that the guard, who was referred to the University College Hospital, Ibadan for treatment, was at his home now lying critically ill at home for lack of funds to travel to the hospital for the medical treatment.