July 20, 2024

Negligence by PHED caused electrocution of 20 residents – Calabar community head

More than 20 residents of Nyangassang community in Calabar Municipality have reportedly been electrocuted due to alleged gross negligence of the Calabar Zonal office of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED.

This allegation was made by the community leader, Chief Baron Eyo during an interaction with newsmen.

He said they have been witnessing incessant power fluctuations, leading to electrocution, stressing that the complete blackout has now become more painful.

According to Chief Eyo,” We started experiencing abnormal voltage around March. Sometimes, it will go up to 280kva instead of the normal ratio of 180-220kva, then it will drop to as low as 80kva in one swoop.

“We called the Zonal Manager of PHED, Gabriel and notified him of the issue. He promised to address it immediately. Each time we called further to remind him, he kept saying the maintenance team was on their way.

“We mobilized ourselves to provide necessary logistic support to the maintenance team to fast-track the repairs but we waited in vain. They never showed up.

“When they finally came, they disconnected us completely from the national grid. This is the height of insensitivity because seven years ago, more than 20 residents of this area suffered electrocution due to carelessness, negligence and professional incompetency of PHED.

“This singular act of complete disconnection coming at the commemoration period of that tragedy is tantamount to robbing salt on injury”.

A youth activist in the area, Etim Asuquo said ” We informed PHED about the fault at the transformer but surprisingly nothing was done for months, rather they came and removed all the fuses from the substation, disconnected the transformer, and threw the whole area into a blackout under the pretext that we are not a serious-minded community, since we couldn’t fund the repairs.

“Meanwhile, we had raised a substantial amount to assist them since they keep saying their headquarters in Port Harcourt was not funding maintenance works, but only interested in revenue generation”.

Zonal Manager of PHED, Gabriel Modupe referred our reporter to the Technical Manager, Tom Udofia who failed to pick up several calls nor respond to SMS.

Findings showed that commercial and economic activities in the sprawling community are now at the lowest ebb as residents of the densely populated semi-urban area, adjacent the Federal Government Girls College and Margaret Ekpo International Airport, all in Calabar, are now groping in darkness with no sign of relief.

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