By Onozure Dania
Lagos—Residents of 312 Road in Festac Town, Lagos, where about 80 flats were mass disconnected on Wednesday by staff of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, following their resistance to outrageous electricity bills and demand for pre-paid meters, have joined issues with the General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, Mr Godwin Idemudia, insisting that his men maliciously disconnected them.
Idemudia had, while reacting to the blackout in the area, just after they resisted EKEDC staff who went to disconnect the area, said that it was as a result of a fault which was being traced and not disconnection.
But a former executive of the affected Close at 312 Road, Mr Michael, insisted that EKEDC men removed a fuse connecting the area from the transformer to punish them, as the EKEDC officials had on Wednesday, vowed to deal with them for resisting their being disconnected and demanding for pre-paid meters.
“By C Close, M Close and 31 Road, which are round A Close, they have light, but it is convenient for Idemudia to justify the punishment of A Close by his men , which he supports by his attributing it to a fault. he said.
“Some engineers among us have confirmed that it was a malicious disconnection, but sadly, agencies like the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC and Consumer Protection Council, CPC, which are suppose to check these kind of excesses have failed to act.
“You can imagine when you are billed N17,000 in March, N16.960 in May and N15,120 in June, when for most of the period, there are blackouts the last for weeks and despite that, they came to disconnect us and because we refused to bribe them, they disconnect our flats. We have lived with that for years, but we now say enough is enough, give us pre-paid meters so that EKEDC people will stop extorting us.
“Please if a people insist on that, is that a crime. But obviously, for them, we must pay and not complain. It will interest you to know that the few residents that have pre-paid meters pay just about N2,000 a month. At N16,000 or N17,000, they force to pay for the 80 flats, they rake in N1.2million or thereabout from us in just a month, is that not robbery? And they want us to keep paying, it will not work. They can cut us off. All we demand is pre-paid meter, simple.”