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30 Days of Total Blackout: Sack Ogbaru, Onitsha, Ogidi Network Managers – Intersociety

‘Sadist’ Network Mangers of the EEDC for Ogbaru, Onitsha and Ogidi Business Districts and members of their management team including the “33KV” and “11KV” feeder managers must not go unpunished for plunging over 700, 000 residents, 10,000 family heads and 20,000 electricity consuming business outlets into 30 days total blackout. The referenced must also have their appointment with EEDC terminated.  The Managing Director of EEDC (Okey Nwosu) and members of his management team are hereby called upon to do the needful without delay.

Sadists in the world over particularly in progressive societies once identified to exist and holding sensitive positions are weeded out and relieved of their positions. When allowed, societies under them suffer irreparably owing to their sadistic conducts. Sadists, generally, are those who mark their happiest moments when others suffer or encounter chronic hardship and have their saddest moments when others rejoice or enjoy conveniences, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, said today in a statement signed by its key officials: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche and Samuel Kamanyaoku.

The Network Mangers of Ogbaru, Onitsha and Ogidi Business Districts belong to the referenced having supervised the 30 days total blackout in this period of scorching heat and dry season. The sadistic conducts and responses of the  three Network Managers and their subordinates  were so thirst and mean to the extent that newly born babies and toddlers  had in the past 30 days cried ceaselessly throughout nights and days; with the unborn and their mothers laying sleeplessly awake under scorching heat; likewise the sick, the aged and normal others.

For 30 days, the Onitsha, Ogbaru and Ogidi residents under the EEDC’s “11KV” and “33KV” feeder lines were plunged into total blackout. The residents included those of Awada, Ugwuagba, Oba, Odume, Fegge, Odoakpu, Fegge Housing, Omagba, Woliwo, Okpoko, Nkutaku, Iyiowa, Odo-Rubber, Okpotu-Uno, Odekpe, Atani and so on; with residence capacity of over 700,000 citizens including 10,000 family heads and 20,000 electricity consuming business outlets.

First were the residents under “11KV” line. They were plunged into total (24hrs) blackout for 22 days and it was only when information got to the three EEDC districts over the imminence of mass protests that the host, the Ogbaru EEDC reached out to its Enugu Public Affairs Department and got same to issue a belated statement accusing the Julius Berger Company of “severing the “11KV” line supplying power to its customers”. The power was only restored to the “11 Feeder Line” on Sunday, 1st March 2020, after over three weeks of total blackout. And despite the restoration, the affected residents still encounter power epilepsy.

As if that was not enough, the Onitsha, Ogbaru and Ogidi residents under EEDC’s “33KV” line, popularly called “Asaba Line” were plunged into another round of total blackout for eight days or since Tuesday, 25th Feb 2020. The power was restored to the line just few hours ago today, being 4thMarch 2020; yet the Line is still experiencing “off and on” or “break-and-quench”. Under one hour, it was taken and brought back for six times.  Before the latest round of total blackout against the residents under the “33KV” Line, the affected residents who live in Iyiowa and Odo-Rubber layouts as well as Okpotu-Uno and Atani, all in Ogbaru; and Oba and Awada in Idemmili North and Idemmili South, etc have been experiencing unsteady power supply.

Till date, the concerned officials of EEDC including their ‘sadist’ Network Managers of Onitsha,  Ogidi and Ogbaru and their feeder managers have kept a sealed lip. Several efforts made formally and informally to find out what actually went wrong have not been factual and successful. Incorrect and flimsy excuses given included “faulty transmission line at Awada”, “shortage of supply from the Transmission Company of Nigeria”, etc.

The affected areas are home to over 700,000 citizens including 10,000 family heads and 20,000 electricity consuming business outlets. While each of the 10,000 family heads consumed average of N3000 per day on fuel (directly or indirectly) and N30m in the past 30 days, each of the 20,000 electricity consuming business outlets consumed N6000 per day and  total of N120m in the said 30 days of the total blackout. Put together, a total of N150m was lost to fuel consumption by the affected residents since then.

The total losses incurred in all is not less than N10b, which included capital and profit losses in businesses, water supply, healthcare, sewage and waste management and general environmental pollution and degradation.  People living with visibility, respiratory and sound challenges were also affected following increased noise and air pollution occasioned by rapid injection into the air of generator fumes and noises.

Other harmful effects following the total blackout are sleepless night occasioned by scorching heat, worsening ill-health and occurrence of new ones, scorching heats and concomitant bacterial infections, increases in night thefts, domestic violence including sexual harassment; and social discomfort including sharp rises in domestic expenses resulting in intra and inter personal anger and violence. This is just to mention but a few.

In the area of revenue generation by EEDC, a lot was licitly lost and a lot planned to be illicitly imposed and collected. For those with prepaid meters, the concerned EEDC management staffers did not care about restoration of power supply to their users. This is because of short changing of those without prepaid meters who still dominate the EEDC customers’ market in the entire three districts.

With their policy of forcing non prepaid metering customers to pay between N10,000 and N15,000 each and per month; whether supplied with power or not, the losses incurred by shutting down power supply to those with prepaid meters are doubly recouped.  This is more so when under prepaid metering, the revenue base of DISCOs including EEDC (Enugu Electricity Distribution Company) is boosted only by steady and uninterrupted power supply, attracting high traffic in the sale of electricity recharge cards.

Till date, the EEDC has not covered half of its single phase customers in its prepaid metering project; rather, the staffers of the Company are more interested in short changing them through practices that are clearly outside the law. Had the Company prepaid metered all its customers in Onitsha, Ogbaru and Ogidi, a drop in power supply would have been giving it a sleepless night owing to expected huge loss of revenue from prepaid meter users. But because of litany of sharp practices including alleged diversion of power to industries for illicit fees, the Company is unperturbed.

We therefore call on the management of EEDC led by Engr. Okey Nwosu (MD/CEO) to investigate and weed out the trio of Engineers Stanley Ani (Onitsha Network Manager), Emeka Uchime (Ogbaru) and that of Ogidi as well as their Feeder Managers in charge of “33KV” and “11KV” lines.

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