Criminals Cart Away Power Transformer Cables, Throw Community Into Darkness

… As PHED Makes U-Turn To Effect Repairs

A section of Rumuigbo community by Psychiatric Hospital Road, Rumuomoi, Rumuobasiolu, including adjourning streets have been thrown into an unfor- seen darkness, following the theft of armoured cables attached to the power transformer by unknown criminal gang.

It would be recalled that, sometime last year the same incident had thrown residents of the affected areas into a total blackout that took weeks before power supply was restored.

But the incident which occurred early last week drew the ire of many residents who believed what they experienced was a theft too many. One of the residents, who accidentally is a member of security committee in the area spoke on condition of anomunity and disclosed that what was witnessed in the community last week may not be far from an insider’s job. He opined that those who carried out the act certainly understand the way PHED works

He argued that since the community witnessed similar event last year, efforts had been put into securing the power transformer located inside the premises of Psychiatric Hospital in Rumuomoi, under the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. Our source stated that then, levies were raised which resulted in the fortification of the transformer house and had since prevented thieves from either doing damages or stealing any component part of the transformer.

He shed light on how the latest theft and vandalism of the power transformer took plea:”0n Monday, in the past week, we woke up to absence of power supply: And we kept waiting for light to come since it is unusual for us not to have light in the night at least, for sometime now. Later, a neighbor who lives close to the place where our transformer is informed the rest of us that our power transformer had been -tampered with from the top poles, which resulted in the stealing of the armoured cables attached to the electricity distribution facility.”

Also speaking on the development one of the leaders of the security committee in the area known as ‘Pastor’ said that efforts are on to ensure that power is restored to the affected areas. But, he lamented that the damage went beyond the stolen armoured cables.

According to Pastor the matter had been reported to the PHED office in the area but nothing concrete had been achieved. He informed that the electricity committee which members are those resident along Rumomoi road were seen embarking on financial drive and levies, but hinted that the committee on its own had proposed an exorbitant levy per household. He said that, “they told some of us that each household should contribute N 5,000 and we refused to cooperate with them on that because people would not pay that kind of money.

So, we succeeded in negotiating based on what it would cost to carry out necessary repairs and they ended up putting the levy at N3,000.00 per household.”

Corroborating the ‘Pastor’  chairman of the security committee in the area who was later contacted, Mr Poroma Apolos said that the matter had been reported to the PHED and the Materials Manager of the district who once promised to get back to them as the matter would be tabled, later called back to inform them that the armoured cables and other materials required to address the problem were currently unavailable in the store. The chairman stated that it was the reason fund drive came in by the committee in charge, which is different from his security committee.

According to him, part of the things required to get the power transformer working include about 26 yards of cable in addition to other materials.

He criticized the initial amount suggested by electricity committee which estimated over N80,000 but after a thorough analysis of the total required, it was agreed, that N63,000.00 would be needed to do the job.

Some concerned residents have expressed deep concern over unrestrained criminal activities, leading to the theft of the vital parts of their power transformer one of them, a man living close to the customs quarters in the area, Thomas Agi, related how much he and others had suffered in the wake of theft of the armoured cables attached to the transformer.

He lamented that he could neither use his generating set to pump water or get help from neighbours who complained of damage to their generating set.

Another resident, Mrs Doyin Rovers expressed regrets that since the theft took place, she and her husband had been unable to continue with their confectionery business the way they used to. She stated that wherever they had orders from customer, they ended up spending much to fuel their generator for lack of power supply.

It has been anxious moment as resident in the affected areas await solution to the damaged transformers by criminals whom they argued must be those close to the way the PHED operates.

Meanwhile, a new twist has been added to the power supply issues, just as the leadership of the PHED suddenly agreed to take on the responsibility of fixing the stolen transformer facilities.

When National Network sought to know if the residents would still contribute N3,000 imposed on each household, the head of security in the are was said to have conveyed the need to only raise N1,000 per household, in order to reinforce the transformer better that it is and discourage persons with criminal intention from carrying out their evil act.

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