Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) said it has lost nine 500kv transformers worth millions of naira to serial vandals in Aleto, Ebubu ,Alesa and Alele in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
This was disclosed, on Sunday, by the Manager, Corporate Communications, PHED, John Onyi, in a meeting that had in attendance the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Eleme, Godwin Abbey-Ollo, and other stakeholders at the Council headquarters .
Onyi expressed worries over unabated activities of the serial vandals, who in the last two months, were in the habit of removing armoured cables, cannibalization of feeder pillars, draining of transformer oil, among others, thereby throwing the affected communities into unnecessary darkness.
He, therefore, called on the relevant authorities in the area to step up vigilance by accosting or reporting anybody with suspicious movement around PHED installations, adding that the vandals are not ghosts, but are human beings living in or around the community.
He reiterated in strong terms that the company has no provision for replacement of vandalized items, saying that all hands must be on deck to forestall any act of vandalism on its installations.
Onyi expressed: “It is disheartening and worrisome that the unscrupulous activities of the vandals have paralyzed the economic activities in the affected communities and most disturbing is that they are not ghosts, they are human beings, living in or around us.
“We should all rise up against these few disgruntled persons before they stop our comfort”, he said.
The company’s spokesman described the activities of the vandals as economic sabotage resulting in denying PHED’s customers the opportunity of enjoying efficient and quality service delivery.
In his response, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Abbey-Ollo, noted the concerns of PHED and charged the Community Development Chairmen (CDC), to step up vigilance with a view to curbing the menace of the vandals.
Abbey-Ollo said that he had already established contact with police to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
“I also want us to be more responsible for PHED facilities in our various communities. As leaders, there are some responsibility that is expected of you, you are to educate the community on the need to protect and defend public facilities in our neighbourhood”, Abbey-Ollo said.
He, however, pleaded with PHED for improved services, adding that he would ensure that customers within his Local Government Area pay their electricity bills.[one_third last=”no”][/one_third]