By Ugochukwu Alaribe
and Joy Anieke
RESIDENTS of Aba and Enugu in Abia and Enugu States respectively have given the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, two weeks to restore power supply to their areas or face the consequences.
The residents of Osusu Street, Okwu Avenue, Sacred Heart and Faulks road areas in Aba, Abia State who protested over alleged incessant theft of power cables in the area lamented that they had no electricity while the EEDC continued to bill them for power not consumed.
Some of the protesters who carried placards with inscriptions, “Say No to vandals; EEDC restore our light; and Stop billing us for electricity not supplied,” among others, said there has been no power supply to the area while the EEDC kept billing them.
Leader of the protesters, Mr. Innocent Anozie Nwokocha, said, the theft of armoured cables from the Osusu by Faulks road substation had brought suffering to residents of the area who rely on EEDC for their businesses.
He said, “We woke up on Sunday, August 27, to discover that the armoured cables from the two transformers have been vandalized and carted away. The following day, we lodged a report at the EEDC office at Calabar Street. Nothing has been heard from the EEDC even after we reminded them about the situation. This is why we decided to embark on this protest. We give EEDC two weeks to restore power supply to the area; they should expedite action and stop billing us until light is restored.”
Network Manager, EEDC, Ariaria, Engr. Dim Emmanuel, said he has reported the matter to the EEDC authorities and assured that efforts were being made to restore power supply to the area. “There are vandals who are perpetrating these acts within the town. We have had many transformers and power cables that are vandalized. EEDC is pained by this. A lot of people had been arrested in the past. This is why we are appealing to residents to help us guard EEDC installations.
“If you see anybody within power installations, you should ask questions because a lot of people are operating with fake EEDC identity cards and branded vehicles. We are also appealing to the security agencies to help us to unravel the people behind the vandalism of power cables,” he said. Also, the people of Eha Amufu, Igboeze North, Nsukka and Igboeze South Local Government Areas of Enugu State have protested over alleged non-supply of electricity since June 8, 2017, following alleged altercations between EEDC officials and some youths from Eha Amufu.
EEDC stated that youths from Eha Amufu damaged their equipment and beat up their staff for alleged irregular supply of power, insisting that it would not reconnect them to the National Grid unless their damaged materials were replaced. However, the people of Udenu, Igboeze North, Nsukka, Igboeze South and parts of Benue and Kogi States are connected to the National Grid through the same power line which passed through Eha Amufu, hence they have been in darkness for over three months.
EEDC Spokesman, Chukwuemeka Eze, stated that efforts were being made the resolve the problems, saying that EEDC was also losing a lot of revenue through non- payment of electricity bills as a result of the impasse.