David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Over 200 transformers belonging to the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) were vandalised by hoodlums between January and November in Anambra State, an official of company has said.
Network Manager, EEDC, Awka, Mr. Samuel Onuoha, made the disclosure while addressing to a group of protesters, who stormed the EEDC office in Awka on Monday to express their concerns over several months of power outage.
Onuoha said that the company had zero tolerance for vandalisation of its installations, while adding that about 50 transformers had been vandalised in Nnewi, 30 in Awka, over 100 in Onitsha and six in Ekwulobia districts within the period.
“There are different levels of vandalisms; some go for oil and different types of cables, some remove the feeder pillar units, among others.
“The vandalism escalated in the “ember” months; we cannot continue to run business like that,” Onuoha stated, adding that six cases of vandalism were currently at different levels of prosecution in the state.
However, the network manager said the company had commenced replacement of vandalised facilities across the South-East geo-political zone, urging residents and community leaders to protect their transformers.
He also urged them to report cases of vandalism to the office or the nearest police station.
“What we do in EEDC is also a business that involves buying and selling; so anything affecting our inability to distribute electricity is also affecting our income,” he stressed.
Onuoha assured the protesters that the company would fix their vandalised transformer by Wednesday.
On claims by the protesters that two EEDC officials were arrested for the vandalisation and handed over to the police, Onuoha said the police as a statutory body had laws guiding its work and should be allowed to handle the matter as the law provides.
He appealed to the protesters to show understanding, noting that the company was collaborating with security agencies and community leaders to minimize vandalism of its installations.
Earlier, residents of Odeagba and Arthur Eze Street business owners took to the streets and later disrupted business activities at EEDC office for two hours to demonstrate power outage for 14 months.
Chairman, Arthur Eze Business Association, Mr. Amaechi Okeke, who led the protest, said since October 2016, when the Arthur Eze one sub-station/transformer was vandalised, the area had been without power supply.