By Davies Iheamnachor, Port-Harcourt
Youths and women of Oyigbo Local Government Area Rivers State, have occupied the Afam Power Plant in protest over the failure of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, to restore electricity in their area.
It will be recalled that the community had earlier issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the company to restore electricity in the area or face total shutdown if their demand was not met.
The host community to the power station has been at war with PHED because of electricity accumulated bill running into billions of naira owed the firm by the community.
Following expiration of the period, the aggrieved residents of the area yesterday made real their threat by barricading the deplorable road leading to the power plant.
The protest led by Oyigbo People’s Assembly, OPA, and other stakeholders and pressure groups from the council commenced after PHED failed to restore electricity in the area after 72 hours.
A statement jointly signed by the Oyigbo Community Leaders Forum, OCLF, and the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, Oyigbo Chapter in respect of the protest read: “It is on record that we have exhausted all peaceful engagements, the last being the meeting held in Port Harcourt on 27th of August, 2020 at the instance of the DSS in which all the operators, including SPDC, Afam Plant Place, TCN, Rivers State Government represented by the Commissioner for Power and PHEDC, where it was unanimously agreed that our light should be switched on.
“However it is either that, this resolution from the state and federal government agencies was not understood or that it was disregarded with reckless abandon”.
The statement noted that it was provocative for the PHED, IOCs and federal government agencies to plunge Oyigbo into darkness for over two months with its attendant consequences on the people.