Infrastructural projects ongoing across the country may be abandoned due to the latest threat of industrial action issued by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the PUNCH reports.
The warning, issued by the President of the Society, Tasiu Wudil, on Thursday, is based on incessant abductions and vicious killings of engineers supervising construction sites in the country, especially in the South-East region.
Addressing journalists during a press briefing at its headquarters in Abuja, the president said six engineers have been brutally murdered by unknown gunmen in two years for no just cause and without respite from the government.
The president also recalled the killing of five members who were on a supervisory visit to the one hundred and fifty million dollars Abakaliki Ring Road project, funded by the African Development Bank in 2021, added that another executive committee member supervising a project site in Ebonyi State is being threatened for no reason.
Wudil, speaking in an angry tone, said the recent murder of the society vice chairman, Donatus Udeh, in Enugu was painful, stressing that the society would no longer condone such actions on its members.
He said, “The National Secretariat of the Nigerian Society of Engineers has been inundated with reports of abduction and vicious killings of our members from different parts of the country, especially in the South-East region.
“The most recent of such cases is the report of the killing of Engr. Donatus Ofobuikem Udeh, MNSE. He was reported to have been abducted on Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Enugu, and the security authorities were immediately alerted. Three days later, his mutilated, lifeless body and vehicle were found at different locations within 9th Mile Corner, Ngwo, Enugu on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
“Previously, in a similarly brutal manner, five Engineers were abducted on their way to inspect a project site in Ebonyi State on November 3, 2021. The victims – Engr. Nelson Onyemeh, Engr. Earnest Edeani, Engr. Ikechukwu Ejiofor, Engr. Samuel Aneke and Engr. Stanley Nwazulum – were abducted and until this moment, the Police have not unravelled the seeming mystery behind the disappearance of the hardworking professionals.”
“The slain Engineers in the examples above were exactly on such patriotic nation-building and economy-stimulating course when they were cut down. It is an irony that such a breed of humans would be targeted for such brutality without a convincing counter-action by the government to bring the perpetrators to book. We will no longer condone such actions.”
The president, who claimed not to be aware of the reasons behind the killings further charged the outgoing President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to order an immediate investigation into the killings, identify the killers and let them face the wrath of the law.
He further threatened industrial actions before the end of the current administration if there is no significant improvement on the matter.
“I hereby make an appealing call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to wade into the matter. We ask that he specifically directs the Inspector General of Police to carry out a special investigation on the abduction and killing of Engr. Donatus Ofobuikem Udeh, MNSE in Enugu, and to also re-open the case of the five Engineers of NELAN Engineering Consulting Limited which happened in Ebonyi State in 2021.
“Furthermore, I hereby declare that if no action is done or seen to be done as here demanded, I shall, by the powers vested on me as President and Chairman-in-Council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, and by the common will of all Nigerian Engineers, initiate an industrial action to protest the insensitivity of government to the plight of Nigerian Engineers and their families,” he stated.