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Protests rock Awka over consistent blackout

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 26/04/2016

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Hundreds of Agulu-Awka youths and community leaders yesterday took to the streets to protest the consistent blackout experienced in the area for the past six months.

The protesters led by Mr. Chidozie Oforah blocked the gate of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) located along the ever busy Zik’s Avenue as early as 7am, causing traffic gridlock in the area and also prevented customers and staff from going in and out of the company.

They demanded to have an audience with the manager of the company, Mr. Ogunmola, but the security officers of the company refused them entry, which almost led to a fracas. It took the intervention of a former chairman of Awka South local government area, Mr. Ikechukwu Okoye, to calm the situation.

According to the leader of the protesting youths, the area has experienced blackout for the past six months despite the fact that they have been paying their bills regularly.

He said the situation has become unbearable for the inhabitants of the seven villages that make up Agulu-Awka, regretting that many tenants in the area have packed out, while businesses that require the use of electricity have folded up.

On her part, the councilor representing Agulu-Awka ward, Mrs. Chikaodi Nnonyelu, said she had spent over N200,000 to buy cables to repair the damaged line  on the instruction of EEDC officials, but regretted that all the efforts were in vain.

She noted that the transformers mounted in the area were donated by Senator Ben Obi and former Governor Peter Obi, adding that when the darkness persisted, EEDC officials instructed them to write a petition to the company, which they had done five times.

Another community leader and coordinator of Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM), Comrade Obi Ochije, said the situation was the same in Amikwo area of the state capital and called on the state and federal governments to look into the activities of EEDC in order to control their excesses. He stressed that power supply in Awka took a toll for the worse since the privatization of power supply in the country.

The EEDC manger, who was forced to speak to the protesters by security operatives, said the problem was nationwide.

He however said that efforts were being made to improve electricity supply in the country as the Federal Government was taking necessary measures.

•Photo shows protesting youths.

Source News Express

Posted 26/04/2016 04:47:05 AM

 

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