Volta River Authority and Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) staff in Tamale are on strike to demand better protection after complaints of attacks on them by residents.
In a communiqué, they said, “residents in the Metropolis are bent on preventing VRA/NEDCo staff from doing any revenue mobilization activities.”
“We, the staff of VRA/NEDCo resolve that our lives are under persistent threats and attacks hence it’s not safe for us to go out there and perform our legitimate work,” they added.
The staff only plan to resume work if “the perpetrators of all these attacks or assaults are identified, arrested and made to face the full rigors of the law.”
They also want “military assistance and, round the clock protection provided for our staff and offices.”
Staff in Tamale withdrew some services in September 2021 following similar attacks and the vandalisation of their Tamale Area Office by some youth in Tamale.
This led to some parts of Tamale being without power for days.
The staff resumed full services after several engagements and assurances from local government and traditional authorities.
The overlord of Dagbon, Ndan Ya-Na Abukari II, notably urged the Northern Regional Police Command to stop arresting persons involved in the destruction of VRA-NEDCO structures and the Lamashegu police station in Tamale.
The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Saibu, at the time also called for calm and assured the workers of safer working conditions.
The tensions in September were on the backdrop of some customers being assaulted by police during routine monitoring and power theft check operations in some suburbs of Tamale.
The management of NEDCo was compelled to apologise for the incident.
Some videos, circulating on social media, showed police officers manhandling some residents suspected to have engaged in illegal connections.