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Okpoko Residents Protest Outrageous Electricity Billing, Threaten Mass Action



By Praise Chinecherem

Residents of Okpoko community in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state have protested the controversial astronomical billings of their energy consumption by officials of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).

The protesters, numbering over 1000 accused officials of the electricity distribution firm in the area of collecting payments for services not rendered running into billions of naira, threatening mass action if the power company fails to address their grievances.
Addressing reporters on Thursday in Onitsha, Secretary of the Concerned Residents and Landlords of Okpoko, Obumneke Ohiagu said they have itemised an 8-point agenda of all exploitative actions of the EEDC against consumers in the area.

He regretted that several letters written to the management to address the issues failed.
He said, “The Concerned Residents and Landlords of Okpoko was formed as a child of necessity to act as a pressure group over various acts of negligence, intimidation and pauperisation of the residents thickly populated by low income earners.
“Our interim Chairman, Chief Christian Achionye died in mysterious circumstances few days ago after much pressure by the Okpoko town union leadership in connivance with EEDC who instigated their arrest, detention and subsequent arraignment in court because of their struggle to liberate the Okpoko people from long years of suffering.”
Another stakeholder, Macsam Aballa appealed for government’s intervention to avert impending crisis in the community occasioned by growing discontent among the people.

He said majority of the residents have passed vote of no confidence on the President General of the Okpoko Development Union, Chief Francis Enemuo.
Reacting, PG Enemuo said the Concerned Residents and Landlords remained unknown to the Union since they carry out their activities without recourse to the Union.
When contacted, EEDC’s Head of Public Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh refuted the allegation of exploitation of customers leveled against the company by its customers in Ogboko area. Ezeh insisted that the firm operates a billing methodology that was based on energy supplied.

He, however advised the protesting customers to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters for prompt attention rather than resorting to actions capable of disrupting normal power supply.

According to him, EEDC has provided platforms for customers on the network to lay their complaints for proper investigation and resolution.

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