Residents of the Federal Housing Estate in Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday protested alleged removal of a 15 KVA transformer by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
The protesters, mainly landlords of the Trans-Nkisi GRA in the town, led other seven landlords’ associations from other housing estates.
They moved to the EEDC substation at 33 Housing Estate and Nsugbe Junction, displaying placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the placards read: “EEDC, stop dismantling the transformer you did not install for us”; “EEDC, the transformer you are dismantling was given to us by NEPA”; “EEDC, improve on what your predecessor companies have done, instead of dismantling and destroying what they did”; “We laboured to get the 15 KVA transformer.”
The protesting housing estates were: Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, Akpaka North Landlords Association, Akpaka Landlords and Residents’’ Association, Blessed Maryland Estate Landlords’ Association, Beverly Hills Landlords’ Association, Otakpo Landlords’ Association and Oye Olu Landlords’ Association, all within the Federal Housing Sites and Services Scheme in Onitsha.
A mild drama occurred during the protest when the policemen guarding the office detained reporters and representatives of the landlords at EEDC’s office.
They were locked up for 20 minutes.
It was gathered that the Police Area Commander for Onitsha, Ezekiel Philips, ordered the security men to release the “detainees”.
Addressing reporters yesterday after the protest, Chairman of the Federal Housing Sites and Services Scheme, Chief Emeka Enendu, said the 15 KVA transformer was dismantled to be taken to Atani Road at Habour Road Industrial Estate to serve those called highest-paying customers – the industrialists.
He was flanked by the seven chairmen of the other housing estates, including their lawyers, Chief Izu Nwankwo, and Mr. Peter Ikebuaso,
Enendu said: “This peaceful protest is to address an injustice we could no longer condone and contain in our area. Four years ago, there was acute shortage of power supply and it was revealed to us that our power supply came from Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area’s substation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which was servicing many areas. We were in very short supply of light.
“So, the landlords’ association of the Federal Housing Estate wrote an application to the Zonal Manager in Enugu through the District Manager at the Ogidi substation, that our line should be removed from Ogidi substation to Awada substation.
“We were given 15 KVA transformer, stationed at Nsugbe Junction, to service Federal Housing Estate in Onitsha, Akpaka Forest Housing Estate, Low Cost Housing Estate and Idoko Housing Estate. The one we were using before, which was a 7.5 KVA, was to service housing estates in Nsugbe axis.
“With the arrangement, there was an improvement in power supply in the areas. But suddenly, it became epileptic. We made an enquiry from the then PHCN at 33 Housing Estate/Nsugbe Junction and they told us that the panel on which the 7.5 KVA transformer servicing Nsugbe was bad and could not be repaired. They decided to use the 15 KVA to service all the people in the area, including those on the 7.5 KVA.
“They resorted to load-shading. But we, the original owners of the 15 KVA, whenever it was our turn, discovered that they would remove at least eight to 10 transformers for power to be steady, because it was over loaded, contrary to what it was at the time of installation, when the load was not much.”
Nwanosike Onu, Awka, July 14, 2016
Image Credit: PR Nigeria