It was a tragic Monday for the members of Nigeria Union of Mine Workers in Ogun state following the demise of a member simply identified as Femi who reportedly lost his lives while serving in a Quarry Chinese company, Xiyuan Quarry, Kobape.
It was gathered that Femi reportedly died due to an alleged inability by the Quarry company to provide PPEs for its workers.
An eye witness identified as Paul Olatunde told our correspondent that Femi lost his life on Saturday while transporting one of the Chinese in the company from the factory to the residential part of the Quarry.
Olatunde who is also a worker at the Quarry explained that the deceased met with his death on his way back from the residential building where he reportedly dropped the said Chinese.
He revealed that one of the trucks used in conveying sand unknowingly crushed Femi to death.
Olatunde however blamed the death on non-provision of Personal Protective Equipment like helmet to the workers working at the Quarry.
“Femi will still be alive if only there are PPEs here, he uses his head to hit the ground and that would not have happened if he was putting on helmet.
“What actually happened was that in the course of working, one of the Chinese that was in a place we called ‘down Quarry’ and he said he wanted to be going to ‘Up quarry’. He asked Femi to drop him at the Up Quarry which is more like the residential part of the Quarry.
“It was on his way back that he met the misfortune, he was not aware he was between two trucks due to the dust that covered everywhere and unfortunately before he could discovered, he already met with his death.
“We rushed him to the hospital, but he gave up the ghost before we got to the hospital.
“Femi is an easy going person, he does not go beyond his boundary and he is very hardworking.”
“We were only working here, they are not taking care of us. Even before we got boot we use, it was hell. Where we live is not comfortable.”
Meanwhile, the NUMW however embarked closed down the Quarry on early Monday morning.
The chairman of the Union, Comrade Fasiu Abiola described the death as tragic, arguing that such incident would have become avoidable if the Chinese company provide neccesary PPEs for the workers.
The NUMW chairman lamented that many Quarry companies in the state are not treating their workers well.
He complained that so many are still contract ataff despite spending over secen years at the Quarries.
He however maintained that the Quarry will remain closed untill the comoany provide all the needed PPEs for its workers.
He said, “there is an accident here on Saturday where we lost one of our members and then we have been engaging this Chinese management for so many months now that they need to provide PPEs for our members that is working there. If the guy was putting on helmet on his head that day, this unfortunate incident won’t have happened at all. But, all of our efforts to give them condition of service, to give them PPEs, all what we have been trying to make sure they provide all these things, they did not agree with us. That is why we lost one of our members and it is very unfortunate because everybody is saying lot of good things about the boy.
“Now, we are going to let the management know that until they provide all the necessary equipment for members in the Quarry, that is when they will be able to start work again.
“With this situation, we are not going to allow the management to start work until they provide good condition of service and the PPEs. I see no reason why someone will be working inside Quarry without putting on helmet, safety boot. I believe this time around, enough is enough.”
Abiola however noted thst drastic action will be taking on any Quarry companies not providing a better working condition to its workers.
He stressed,” we are taking drastic action against bad treatment of our members, not until we lose another person again. All the Quarries in Ogun state, we must make sure they provide PPEs for their workers and that one is not negotiable.
“Concerning the agitation, the Nigeria government has been trying their own part, but it is not enough until when every Nigerian knows that Nigeria belong to us.
“All what we cannot do in the foreign countries, the foreigners are doing it here. There are rules and regulations when the foreigners are coming to Nigeria and they must follow all these guidelines before they can work in Nigeria and we believe the Nigeria government is going to support this course. “