Women protest against outage, allege extortion by Kaduna Disco
PHED in A’Ibom accuses youths of disrupting supply
Hundreds of women stormed the streets in Unguwan Doma Community in Gonin-Gora, Kaduna, to stage a peaceful protest over outage and exorbitant electricity bills by Kaduna Electric Distribution Company (KEDCO).
The women, who took their protest to the KEDCO Office, Federal Housing and Gwagwada Service Centre, Kaduna, with their children, vehemently complained of being overcharged in the electricity billing and also non-reflection of payments made in bills.
Leader of the protesting women, Mrs. Jemimah James, who spoke with journalists, condemned the hardship the community was going through in the hands of KEDCO officials.
She said: “They bring light between noon and 4:00 p.m., a time when they know majority of us are not at home. They will not bring it back till around 11:00 p.m. or midnight when we are already sleeping. What type of action is this?
“Upon all this, we are still paying for the light we don’t consume. We can’t take this again, enough is enough!”
Another protester said: “Even the cables, which we bought with our own money, were taken away by the KEDCO officials who do not listen to explanations. And when they are reconnecting, they don’t bring back our ‘good’ wires to reconnect us.”
Godwin Abebe, another resident of the community, said his flat was charged over N22,000.00, saying: “They asked me to write a complain, which I did, I even sent a reminder, but nothing has been done up till now.”
When contacted, Head, Media and Public Relations, Kaduna Electric, Mr. Abdulazeez Abdullai, said every step would be taken to address the complaints tabled by the women.
He said: “I am aware there was a protest by a few people around Gonin-Gora and it was not as if it was a massive protest as such. But that does not mean we are not going to do anything about it. Let them be patient; every complaint would be addressed.
In another development, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has alleged that the sudden outage in Akwa Ibom was as a result of the barricade of their stations by Youth Development Forum of Itam Local Council.
A statement signed by Manager, Corporate Communications, PHED, Mr. John Onyi, and made available to journalists in Uyo, said: “The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company wishes to draw the attention of security agencies, government functionaries, electricity users and indeed members of the public that the entire Akwa Ibom State, including the state capital, has been thrown into unwarranted darkness by the Itam Youth Forum.
“The forced outage is sequel to the action of the Youth Development Forum under the leadership of Obong Ubong Akpan, who barricaded the transmission station located at Itu close to the state capital, thereby forcing the station to shut down supply forcefully.
The statement further alleged that the action of Itam youths might not be unconnected with earlier moves by the youth leader, Ubong Akpan’s outrageous demands to the company for contract, which the company had turned down.
However, the youth leader, Mr. Ubong Akpan, denied the allegations, saying, their action was as a result of incessant power outage, which takes months.