From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Over 200 protesters from Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, at the weekend, stormed the Nnewi office of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) over what they described as ‘crazy bill’ from the company.
The placard-carrying protesters from five different estates in the community alleged that each flat in the community is billed as much as N28,375 by EEDC.
“N28 375 per flat is a crime”; “Please stop terrorising us with crazy bills”; “Enough is enough”, among other things, were clearly written on their placards.
The Chairman of the Coalition Estates, Oba, Ikechukwu Onyekwere, said the over 200 protesters were representatives of more than 10,000 residents of different estates in the community. He claimed that residents did the installation of both the transformers and cables, yet the company still charged them so high. “The transformers were bought by the landlords, all the installations were done by us. The EEDC did not contribute anything yet they charged us so high. We cannot afford this.”
Onyekwere said a situation where a two-bedroom flat is charged as high as N28,000 per month was uncalled for.
“We have delegated a five-man committee three consecutive times to the EEDC office with the plea for them to look into it yet they did not do anything. We are here again in a peaceful demonstration pleading with them.
“We are bent on fighting our cause till they do something about it. This is too much; it is outrageous. Some of us are civil servants. Where do you expect us to get the money from. We pay house rents, school fees, take care of our families and relations; where do you expect us to get the money?” they queried.
The protesters urged the federal and Anambra State governments to come to their rescue as they could not continue to cough out money to settle exorbitant bills from EEDC. “Yet the electricity supply is not always steady. All we are asking them is to stop the exorbitant bills or give us pre-paid meter,” the protesters demanded.
A landlady who came with the protesters, Augustina Maduako, said she had lived in the estate for more than two years and noted that the EEDC did not compensate them for carrying out all the installations, rather, they started throwing outrageous bills at them.