Residents of Borikiri in the Old Port Harcourt township on Tuesday besieged the Borikiri Business Unit of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) at 116 Aggrey Road with placards to register their grievances over 14 days power outage.
The protesting crowd were led by Hon. Iriso Operkerebia, Mr. Henry Koladapala, Mr. Precious Tobin George.
Mr. Henry who spoke to our correspondent said that for more than two weeks the power Distribution’ ration of power supply had not favoured millions of people including business owners in Borikiri apart from those along Harold Wilson and part of sand-filled (New Road) axis, adding that they selfishly assisted staff of PHEDC in maintaining their electrical equipment in order to enjoy power supply, but PHEDC has refused to restore power afterwards.
The protesters revealed that the reason behind the non power supply was to purnish the navy and police who are owing PHEDC millions of naira, as it was a challenge to PHEDC and for fear of demand for same sum from the security agents at Borikiri residents would deal with any staff of PHEDC who attempts to climb poles for disconnection, as far as their metres had not been properly read as a result of estimated bill.
The protesters further accused PHEDC management for falsification of bill, over estimation, purposeful sabotage, forceful collection of electric bills, fees without power supply, corruption, and bribery. They stressed that they would sue PHEDC management if they experience another power outage and ordered PHEDC to supply 24 hours power supply without collection of bills and to refuse the implementation of the new tariff charge.
Meanwhile, the Customer Service Manager at Aggrey road, Mr. Benebo Benjamin assured residents of Borikiri that power would be restored as soon as their engineers rectify the problems on ground and metre would be read properly pointing out to consumers to also purchase and install metres to avoid being cheated, as there were different feeders cable for Borikiri which is 33 was faulty since in the month of March.
Benjamin explained that PHEDC engineers were on top of the situation at 24 along Amadi Flat as there were still underground cables and transformers problems saying that PHEDC did not blackout Borikiri deliberately. He claimed that it was the same problem that led to the death of their staff at Marine Base.
In the same vein the speech, Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Jonahs Igboma at Moscow Road, noted that Borikiri power outage was as a result of yet to be identified technical problems assuring the resident of 24 hours power supply.
Some of the placards reads: “PHEDC give us light,” “No light, No bill”, PHEDC is biased in the supply of light”, this is an attempt to destroy the effort of Gov. Wike amongst others.” ###