Uyo Residents Blame PHEDCO For Rise In Crime | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Uyo Residents Blame PHEDCO For Rise In Crime

Posted: Jul 30, 2015 at 2:35 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Idongesit Ashameri –  Uyo 


Residents of Uyo Capital city have blamed the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDCO) for the upsurge in rate of armed robbery cases in Akwa Ibom State.

The residents said that the failure PHEDCO to ensure availability of power in the state and the consequent total blackout experienced in most parts of the state was enough to encourage robbers to operate without any fear of interruption or apprehension, as such blackout gives invitation to evil practices at night.

This was the position of

attribution and bitter complain results from recent reports of renewed zeal by armed robbers to hold some parts of the capital city hostage, especially at night and in areas known to be without power supply.

A resident of Anwa Nsa Street, Uyo, Barrister Victor Ben, who was recently attacked by armed robbers told Daily Independent that he blamed PHEDCO for his misfortune, and argued that no one would dare to operate in such an open area if it was well lit up at night.

His words “When you have power at night, the entire area is bright, armed robbers would not be able to operate because they may fear they may be sighted from a distance.  But a situation where there is total blackout, they may spend as long as two hours battling to gain access to your house without anything to discourage them.

“The power company, I understand recently had agreement with the state government to work out modalities for improved power, while that may have worked in some areas with functional transformers, cables and other equipments, other areas remain as bad as they were. The only presence of a power distribution company in my street is high electricity bill”.

Ben advised the PHEDCO, like every other Investor, to take up the responsibility of repairing damaged electricity cables, poles and transformers before aspiring to reap.

He said such steps would allow power distribution to go round and also encourage electricity consumers to pay bills without complain.

Another consumer, Mr Gabriel Udoh complained that since the company took over supply of electricity in the state in November, 2013, power supply had been more epileptic than before.

Udoh, from Etim Ekpo, said that his community had no supply of electricity for two months early this year but the company still sent in bills of N70, 000.

He urged the electricity distribution company to repair all their obsolete poles and cables to give the community good electricity supply before thinking of tariff review.

“We are ready to pay electricity bills but we need adequate supply of light before billing. PHEDC should repair all their obsolete poles and cables to give us light. A lot of poles are broken down which need to be replaced,” Udoh said.

Mr Raphael Tom, complained of lack of electricity for two months in his area along Nwaniba but the company is still billing the people. He also complaint of poor attitude exhibited by some PHEDC staff to customers in Uyo business unit.

He lamented that the electricity company had been over-billing consumers in the state through estimated billing and called for regular reading of meter.

Mr Clifford Thomas, Chairman, Civil Liberty Organisation in Akwa Ibom appealed to the company to attain customer complains to improve on their services.

Thomas called on the company to always have customer relations forum to discuss issues affecting consumers and proffer solutions to enhance good customer relationship.

He urged the electricity company to provide meters to consumers and avoid estimated and outrageous billing

Daily Independent recalls that the Managing Director, Ibom Power company, Dr Victor Udoh, had in an interview, two years ago, advised PHEDCO to invest in repairing and replacing obsolete power equipment to ensure effectiveness of their services, like every other investor, before seeking to gain from the business. This advice seems to have fallen on deaf ears as same bitter complain has continued to trail the power distribution company. Commenting on the complains of increased armed robbery cases in the state within the last couple of weeks, the retiring Commissioner of Police, Gabriel Achong said  “There is no way you can eradicate crime completely in any society. Akwa Ibom is one of the states with the lowest crime rate in the country”. He however assured that the intelligent-led policing approach he adopted is still in place, as his men are on toes to smash all the criminal syndicates. He urged all to remain vigilant with a view to reporting suspicious activities to the police for prompt action.

“My stepping down does not break the foundation of security, Akwa Ibom state will remain calmer than what it is as I leave” He assured.