PHED throws half of Calabar to darkness for a month


…..crimes multiplies, economic activities grounded
Close to a month after a House wife and a student of Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) were reported dead at no 14 Adak Uko street in Calabar, Calabar South and part of Calabar Municipal and Odukpani local government have remained in dark and without electricity supply for about a month now.

No reason for non-connection of the electricity to the aforementioned areas by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) of Nigeria. Economic, Social and Political activities in the area have been brought to standstill.

Investigations conducted by our correspondent revealed that following the throwing of the area into darkness, cult and cult related activities including armed robbery and kidnapping strives in the state as a result of darkness and the people are leaving in fear of being victim of such attack or robbery.

The outage of electricity according to our findings also affected social, economic and political life of the people. Social gathering such as football, political party gathering, and night vigil can no longer take place in the early part of the evening.

The business men and women that make their leaving from selling of foodstuff, restaurant operators, beer parlours closed down as they complaint of no money to buy fuel to power their generator for those that have.

Sadly, political gathering could not hold as usual as politicians ended meetings abruptly for fear of unexpected since there was no electricity.

Speaking with our correspondent, a cool store operator who gave his name as Thomas Akpan lamented the outage of electricity in the state capital explaining that the action has caused him untold hardship and losses estimated at several thousands of Naira.

“All the fishes and meets as well as drinks I stored for my customers have defrosted and I have to call the owners on phone to come and pick them. Some of them have even spoiled. Tell me what I am going to do.

I feed my family, trained my children and pay house rents from the proceeds of this business, but now where should I go to”.

Also lamenting, a fish seller at Lagos street markets complained that where she normally put her unsold fish has no electricity for over a week.

“The owner of the cool room call me today to come and remove my fish, where will I take them to, the restaurants I supply these fishes are not willing to buy more because of poor patronage,” she fumed.

Besides, restaurant and cold store operators, small scale businessmen also recount their losses as a result of electricity seizure.

A shoe maker, aluminum and furniture makers, radio mechanics, carpenters etc also lamented the non-supply of electricity but pointing out, “In spite of lack of electricity, these people will come around to disconnect us and asked us to settle bill for light we have not seen”.

In a separate interaction with our correspondent, these skilled workers expressed sadness as they could not meet up with the demand of their customers and appealed to power holding company to come to their aides.

“We could not meet up again. We have explained and tried to our customers and not everybody understand even when they saw that the fault is not from us”

Interestingly, our correspondent who monitored the activity of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) observed that the company has announced that there will be power outage for two weeks noting that the company was embarking on emergency maintenance in Ikot Ekpene/Calabar line.

Sadly, a senior staff met at PHED who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned told our correspondent that re-connection of electricity in the area was not coming soon as the company was not in a hurry to re-install electricity in the area.

“My brother, please don’t mention my name, the company may not give that area light until after Christmas” and declined further information.

Edem Bassey, Calabar

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Ihesiulo Grace

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