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Again, youths take over Afam power plant over blackout

Sampson Itode, Port Harcourt

Angry youths of Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Wednesday, occupied the Afam Power Plant to protest the blackout in their area following the failure of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to restore electricity in their community.

The protesting youths also barricaded the road leading to the power plant which is in a deplorable condition.

The protesters said their 72-hour ultimatum to the company had elapsed, hence the action.

The Afam power plant host community had been at loggerheads with the PHED following notices of unpaid accumulated electricity bills served them, running into billions of naira.

It was learnt that the protest was organised by the Oyigbo People’s Assembly in partnership with other stakeholders and pressure groups from the area.

The statement which contained the 72-hour ultimatum to PHED issued September 3, 2020, was jointly signed by the Oyigbo Community Leaders Forum and the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Oyigbo Chapter.

The statement 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.”

But the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company on August 20, 2020, said in a press briefing that the Oyigbo community was owed electricity bills of N5.8bn since 2013.

Source: punchng.com