Several civil rights groups based in South Eastern Nigeria have made a petition to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola accusing the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) of illegal deeds. The groups protested the activities of the distribution company stating that, it had left them in perpetual darkness.
Prior to now, EEDC made it known to their customers that vandalism of electrical installations has been a major cause of power outages and poor service delivery to its constituents and even placed stiffer sanctions on vandals in an attempt to sanitize their distribution network.
The petition which was also copied to the acting Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Anthony Akah; the Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Senator Enyinnaya Abiribe, and the Chairman House of Representatives Committee, Hon Effiong Daniel, was titled: ‘Seeking the rescue of the people of Southeast from chronic bondage, oppressive and criminal conducts of EEDC’.
The petition referenced Ref:
Intersociety/SBCHROs 001/012/017/FG/ABJ, read in part:
“This letter contains EEDC’s untamed and unbearable criminality, recklessness and lawlessness in the entire 18 business districts of the company in Southeast. These findings arise from our in-depth investigation. The joint letter seeks expeditious and competent intervention of its recipients to rescue the people of the Southeast or Igbo people of Nigeria from shackles and manacles of EEDC in the zone.”
The petitioners expressed;
“we are deeply concerned over sundry criminal activities and other forms of lawlessness going on in EEDC. Electricity as the livewire of the people of Southeast zone or Igbo people of Nigeria and driving force of the economy of the zone has been brutally denied the people of the Southeast especially since 2012 when EEDC came on board in the zone. The steady and affordable power supply and associated social convenience and happiness is speedily on the brink; to the extent that criminal syndicates have taken over EEDC; running riot on vulnerable consumers in the zone with reckless abandon.”
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The alleged illegal activities of the distribution company by the petitioners includes; disconnection of communities from feeder or distribution transformers, the use of violence during disconnection exercises, wrong classification of customer type, exorbitant bills, very low daily supply ratio, acute load shedding and total darkness amidst others.
“As a matter of fact, EEDC appears to have become an outlaw; flouting its terms of agreement with the federal government that led to granting of licence to same company to distribute and market power supply to the people of Southeast. The most disastrous of it all is the reckless abandon and impunity with which EEDC breaches the clear provisions of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Act (Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act No 6 of 2005) and the fundamental human rights and other relevant provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.” the petition stated.
The coalition ranked the EEDC as the worst of all the distribution companies in the country and also expressed their displeasure in the manner at which regulatory bodies have failed in checking the excesses of EEDC, which has led to the alleged criminal activities and lawlessness of the company.