Thousands of electricity consumers and residents of communities and suburbs in Uratta area of Owerri North Local Government, including some sections of Orji community have been thrown into total darkness which is affecting lives and businesses. The incident is due to a number of reported cases of power re-installations in various locations which has left the consumers without electricity since January this year.
One of the incidents occurred last Sunday along Obinna Street, Orji on the fringes of the state capital barely 48 hours after repairs at the faulty transformer and the heavy rain that fell that day.
Reports said that the vandals or robbers were in the habit of dismantling and vandalizing costly essential components necessary for power supply and in the case of Obinna Street, the robbers carted away armoured cables valued at about N400,000 after scaling through a wall to gain entrance into the transformer cabin.
It was gathered that the robbers after carefully detaching the cables, cut through the security barbed fence through which they dragged their loot without let or hindrance. Some residents of the affected streets averred that the suspected robbers were spottedly dressed in EEDC outfits around the power installation with their bags and instruments at the transformer location undistracted and the next day the vandalization was noticed.
Meanwhile the neigbourhood association of Obinna Street has called the attention of EEDC officials in the area to the incident and at the time of our reporters visit to the location, efforts were on to make official entry at the police station.
Equally the residents of the area are pointing accusing fingers and suspecting some of the EEDC-technicians or operatives who worked last at the spot since only crafted persons know the value of the stolen components and how to dismantle, it will perpetrate such act.
When contacted one of the EEDC officials who had arrived the scene of the incident with executives of the neigbourhood association led by High Profile Independent Petroleum Marketer, Mr. Jude Ukwuoma confirmed regular cases of vandalization of power installations in recent times which he observed have affected their power output.
He said he has made a formal report of the case at hand, indicating that it is a case for the engineering department of EEDC since he is only a marketer.
A leader of the Association, Mr. Diala regretted that after three days of formally reporting the matter, nobody from the engineering department has been seen and explained the Association had levied its members to procure the now vandalized transformer and that the association will take every legal step to see that the zone will not be put in total blackout again for a long time, hopeful that the security officials will track down the suspected vandals.
According to the EEDC officials, the company does not replace vandalized power components and that it is for the consumers to replace same.
While the consumers were complaining, of irregular EEDC bills without commensurate power supply, bills were sent in hence they are planning to stage a mass protest to register their grievances.