By Uju Mbanusi
Residents of Aladelola Street in Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos, where a PHCN official and a security man were electrocuted early January this year, are still living in fear. This is because, officials of PHCN are yet to replace the obsolete wires that caused the death of their neighbours. Worse still, the old wires are still left to dangle dangerously on weak electric poles thereby posing a great danger to people living in the area.
One of the residents who craved for anonymity told Crime Guard that they had thought that officials of PHCN should have hastened to replace all the wires after the ugly incident recorded last January.
“That day, we all saw hell. We saw human beings being roasted like rams. A security guard (mai-guard) tried to pour water on the car of one of the landlords while it was burning not knowing that it was caused by one of the electric wires that fell on top of it. The security guard was instantly electrocuted. An official of PHCN who heard the guard screaming fire, rushed to help with another bucket of water and he got electrocuted too”.
Living in fear
“After we discovered that their death was caused by an electric wire that fell on top of the landlord’s car, we quickly contacted PHCN officials to replace the wires but nothing has been done.
This has become a nightmare to us, our children can no longer play around the compound as they used to for fear of the wire dropping on them. Even adults who earn their living selling food or provisions in the open shops on the street are also threatened. As you can see, the wires are all old, PHCN should know the life span of the wires and endeavour to check, maintain and change them as at when
due. They have been neglected, we have been complaining about this, all we get is ‘we will do something about it’ but the wires are never replaced, it is unfortunate that this has led to loss of lives, we pray that this time, perhaps their hearts will be touched, and indeed something will be done,” the resident stated.
Another resident also told Crime Guard, “Electric wires dropped from this particular pole…sparking almost every week,and we live in fear here, we have been complaining about this situation at the PHCN office in this area, but all they do is bring outrageous bills to us every month; can you imagine, a room here is billed up to N2,000–N3,000 monthly, what are we using?, even at that, we don’t see the light, if we don’t pay up, they will bring ladder to cut off our lights; it is a situation of ‘ a beggar has no choice’. It is very bad that this situation degenerated to loss of lives. Lagos State Government should please intervene on our behalf.”
Investigation by Crime Guard also revealed that about five years ago, an electric wire fell on a five- year-old boy, as he was playing in front of his father’s house at Aladelola Street where one of the poles stand. It was gathered that although, PHCN management contributed to his hospital bills, the boy’s brain was badly affected; as he was reportedly deformed. His parents had to relocate from the area due to the incident.