Despite what seems a general improvement in power supply across the country, the story is different in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as most communities in the city are still grappling with darkness.
This was the story of some female residents, living in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt, as they took to the streets, chanting war songs and headed for the Diobu Business District of the power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), in protest of power outage for over three months running.
The women alleged that they have been in darkness for a very long time, yet they still pay bills for energy not consumed. They accused the men of conspiring with PHCN officials to put them in darkness by cooking up stories that the power transformer was faulty.
One of the women, Asumpta Onyejiekwe, who spoke with CityFile, said that they were reliably informed by a PHCN official that the transformer was not bad and that the official went further to fuse it, to prove his claim.
“We have not had light for over than three months now. Our men went to PHCN to find out what the problem was. They were told that the transformer was bad. But one of the PHCN officials, who came to share the bill, told us that nothing was wrong with our transformer. On Thursday, August 16, 2012, one of the officials fused it and there was light but he immediately removed it,” she said.
When contacted on phone, the Business Development manager in charge of Diobu District, Festus Nmegbu, attributed the long power outage in the area to the recent strike embarked upon by PHCN workers.
He, however, debunked allegations of connivance and extortion by PHCN staff leading to the shut down.
He appealed to residents in the state to bear with PHCN to enable them carry out full maintenance of electrical installations across the state.
“There were accumulated problem during the strike. We work every day and when we do not work, some problems accumulate, but now that we are back from strike, things will soon normalise,” he promised.
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