Residents of Owa-Emene in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State on Wednesday, shut down business activities at the headquarters of the Enugu Electricity Distribution PLC, demanding their transformer which some staff of the company took away since July, leaving the areas in darkness.
The residents who thronged the head office of electricity distribution company in their numbers, carried placards with various inscriptions: “EEDC give us back our transfer.” “What offence have we done.” “We have suffered so much.” “We have been darkness for five months'” among others.
They lamented that the outage had ruined their businesses.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Chief Ogbuefi, told journalists that the staff of the company had been dribbling the residents, promising since they took away the transformer that it would be brought back in two weeks. “This is five months.”
Ogbuefi in a complaint letter to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Enugu Electricity Distribution PLC, Engr. Praveen Chorghade, said that 500KVA transformer was carted away on July 18, 2022, without notification.
The complaint letter dated 17 August 2022, which journalist obtained on Wednesday, read “Sir, I wish to bring to your notice the challenges I and other members of Owa II, Emene are facing after the 500KVA transformer situated at Owa Street, Emene was removed by your staff on July 18, 2022.
“About a week earlier we noticed that the oil in the transformer shut down. The incident was reported to your staff in Emene business district, and requested for a quick intervention in order that our light is restored within the shortest possible time.
“May I, also, use this opportunity to bring to your notice that some of us recharge our prepaid meters up to N30,000.00 (thirty thousand naira only), I even recharged my meter N15,000 three days before power was disconnected from the transformer.
“The implication is that our money is hanging with the services we paid for not being provided for us. You will agree with me that this is a breach of contract. I have sort for explanation from your field officials and I was told that the transfer has damaged and irreparably, saying the coil in the transformer is aluminum and it has burnt, which is false as the transformer is a copper coil with three coils inside.
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“I know and can authoritatively state that one coil of the transformer had problem and two were serving the neighborhood. I can also inform you that the transformer was on and functional when we noticed oil shortage and your staff came and switch it off.
“However, my investigation as journalist on the matter showed that your men took the transformer to another location they claimed are making huge return financially.
“As a journalist, I will not hesitate to use my medium and other media platforms to expose the irregularities and incompetence on the part of the establishment. If need be I and other customers might also take legal actions because having stayed for two months in darkness, we think we have been punished enough even for an offence we did not commit.
“Sir, the above is for your perusal for necessary action. We are hoping that you will use your good office to lay this matter to rest.”
Ogbuefi however regretted that despite assurance of Chorghade, the company was yet to return or provide the residents another transformer.
He alleged that some management staff of the company were using the situation to extort money from residents and business owners, promising that they would facilitate the return of the transformer.
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