The national coordinator, South-East for President, 2023, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, on Thursday, alleged that he was detained by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, for over four hours.
Journalists who visited the EEDC office in Enugu based on an alarm raised by Okechukwu reports that he was seen sitting on bare-floor at the Customer Service Section of the company.
Addressing journalists on his experience, he said trouble started when he wanted to recharge his pre-paid meter but was told that his metre had become obsolete.
According to him, “in December, the EEDC started a programme and stopped pre-paid meter consumers from recharging, without any notice.
“The people were scampering, getting confused. There were several plans for protest, which I helped to calm down.
“Even the NERC was approached and the NERC said one thing or the other contrary to the policy of the EEDC. With the complaints from the people, the EEDC still kept quiet.
“Then finally my own light got finished and I wanted to know whether what the people were complaining about was true or not. I came to the EEDC and they told me my prepaid metre was obsolete, it can’t work, they won’t use it. This was a prepaid metre that is working very well.
“So, I applied for a new metre, followed all the processes with all the difficulties; at one of the sections, it was a herculean task for me to be registered; I took all the patience and was registered.
“I was then referred to my area in New Haven. I got there, where I was supposed to be connected directly pending when the new metre comes; they told me that I must provide a vehicle before they take me to my house for the connection, that if I don’t have a vehicle I should forget about it. The man treated me with reckless abandon, with ignominy.”
He further stated that in that frustration, he waited till the EEDC reversed itself owing to NERC order and started recharging the pre-paid metre.
“But you can see me here that they said there is no machine; they said I should go to about 10 kilometre radii at Awkunanaw, that’s the only place they provided the machine. Going to Awkunanaw, there is about 200 cues there, with all the pandemonium; that is the reason I am saying they must provide the machine. It appears there is something here they are not telling the people. I have been detained here for over four hours by the EEDC system.
“The whole Enugu and you provided 2 machines for over 45,000 customers, it is an indirect way of telling the NERC we do not want to obey your law,” he quipped.
But reacting, the EEDC Head of Communications, Mr. Emeka Ezeh said the company had no plan of punishing customers.
He said the machines malfunctioned, except the few ones that had now been deployed to serve the affected customers.
Ezeh said, “We were able to salvage some machines that could still function and deployed them to some locations, we have two locations in Enugu; Awkunanaw and Abakpa District; we have in Awka, we have in Onitsha, we also have in Nnewi, and in Imo we have in Owerri. So, customers within these locations can approach any of these places.”
On Obioha’s alleged detention, Ezeh said, “I’m not aware of any customer that is under detention; we don’t detain our customers; we are here to serve our customers. If any customer is having issues, there are channels, there are avenues to deal with such issues.”
He said the Disco would get details of the staff who allegedly demanded for a vehicle from Obioha, vowing that “if a customer demands service, you have no right to ask for a vehicle, we shall get to the root of the matter and punish the person accordingly.”
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