POLICE RESCUE OVER 600 WORKERS TRAPPED FOR THREE MONTHS IN RICE FACTORY
Operatives of the Nigeria Police, Kano command, have rescued over 600 workers who were forced to spend three months in a factory called “popular farm rice” in Challawa industrial area of the State.
It was reported that the workers were threatened they will lose their jobs if they go home without the consent of the factory management.
The police operatives stormed the factory on Monday, June 22, after obtaining a court order following a tip-off, with the arrest of four managers of the factory, reports say.
Where the freed workers sleep
One of the workers, whose name was not disclosed, said he has been in the factory since Monday, March 23, without seeing the sky over the fear of the Covid-19.
Another freed worker, Haruna Salihu, said “Our family members are seriously disturbed, as they don’t know the (a condition we are in). My wife and my kids used to come to the factory’s gate and I couldn’t go and meet them.
We were tricked to stay in the factory for five days, then (it was) extended to seven days, then two weeks and subsequently extended to one month. We are now detained for over three months. There are about 600 workers in the factory. We are sleeping in a very poor environment. I am appealing to authorities to allow me to go back to my family.”
Also, a truck driver, Hashimu Isa, who brought paddy rice from Kebbi State, narrated how he was trapped in the factory for three days.
“I brought paddy rice from Yauri, Kebbi State. I couldn’t go out of the factory, since my entry three days ago. Even if you attempted to go out, the security will not allow you. I couldn’t go out to give my boy money to buy food. Someone sent me ten thousand Naira, but I couldn’t go to the bank to withdraw it. I was waiting to (offload) the rice so that I will leave,” he said.
Meanwhile, the manager of the rice mill, who identified himself as Abdulkareem said he was not aware of the workers’ terrible condition.
Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, police spokesperson in Kano state, said the four arrested managers are undergoing thorough investigation to verify the allegations against them.