TOTAL BLACKOUT AS POLICE ARREST PHCN STAFF

 

The collapse of more than thirty electric poles at
Agbor-Nta, a village in Agbor, headquarters of Ika South Local Government,
Delta State which eventually led to the death of one Mr Christian              Ebonka, a Civil Defence Corps and a
father of five children has continued to generate more negative reactions as
residents of Ika land,have been kept in total blackout for the past fifteen
days.

                Ika
Weekly gathered that men of the Agbor police after the sad incident at
Agbor-Nta, stormed the PHCN Agbor district office and arrested some staff of
the office.

                A
resident who craved for anonymity said he was at the PHCN Agbor office to pay
his electricity bills but was shocked when he discovered that the place was
deserted and that no business was going on.

                               When
contacted the PHCN Public Relations Officer in charge of the district, Mr. Eddy
Gbiwen said what happened at Agbor-Nta was an accident, stressing that the
victim was their friend .He disclosed that PHCN staff in Agbor are well trained
and will not involve themselves in anything that will bring grief to their
customers. Unfortunately, Mr. Gbiwen did not disclose if the arrest of some of
their staff by the police was the reason for the total black out neither did he
give any categorical statement as to when the light will be restored.

                However,
many Ika residents who are not happy with the unending blackout in the area
blamed PHCN for not satisfying their customers. One of those that spoke to Ika
Weekly, Comrade Chuks Etuhu, who decried the total absence of light in almost
all parts of Ika land, said that the continued black out has crippled virtually
all business activities in the area. He appealed to the state government and
political office holders in Ika land to intervene because the light problem is
becoming unbearable.

                Another
resident, Comrade Onyisi Egede, a staff of Oxford Bakery in Boji- Boji, Owa
said that for failing to provide constant electricity to their consumers, PHCN
has failed. He called on the government and stakeholders in Ika land to help
address the PHCN issue which he said has gone beyond control.

                As at
the time of filling this report on Thursday, 18th April, 2013 Ika Weekly
reliably gathered that the arrested PHCN staff have been released on bail. But
what was not clear was whether their bail will help restore light in Ika land
since it is strongly rumoured that the blackout is not unconnected with the
arrest of the PHCN staff.

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The
Public Relation Officer of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (P.H.C.N) Agbor
Zone, Mr. Gbiwen Eddy has described the incident that killed Mr. Christian
Eborka at Agbor-Nta, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State as an
accident.

                He made this assertion to
newsmen on Saturday, 13th 2013 in his office in Agbor,  stressing that the rainstorm that occurred in
the early hours of Monday, April 8th 2013, caused P.H.C.N electricity poles to
fall at Agbor-Nta, Alisime and other neighbouring communities, He added that
the damage was so much that they had to take pictures on Tuesday to attach to
the report that would be sent to the zonal office in Asaba, with the aim of
getting materials to effect the necessary repairs.

                He maintained that due to the
importance of the road to users, some staff were delegated to remove the fallen
poles which obstructed the flow of traffic, adding “the P.H.CN. staff did what
they ought to do, and that was placing, signs of work in progress’ on the
road. We may not have those types used by 
Berger or those other big companies, but we used the crude signs  to warn people that work is in progress”, he
said.

                He stated that the unfortunate
incident that occurred, was an accident 
and was not intentional. Mr. Eddy pointed out that the pole that fell
which killed the father of five was about twenty poles away from where the
P.H.CN. staff were working, “The most painful 
aspect of the incident is the fact that the deceased was a staff of  Civil Defence Corps. “God should give the
family the fortitude to bear the loss. We the staff of P.H.CN, Agbor feel very
sorry for the loss”.

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