Port Harcourt — The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has commenced intensive repairs of faulty infrastructure within its franchise area, amidst threats of violence by youths of Afam community, Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State.
The youths in Afam community are threatening to shut down facilities of the PHED, claiming that the firm had thrown them into darkness for a week.
Youth Leader of Afam, Ejike Dike, alleged that PHED came to their communities in the company of security operatives, to cut down about 12 electricity poles without giving any reason for the action, thereby throwing residents into darkness.
But in a swift reaction, the management of the PortHarcourt Disco described as “fake story”, the claims by the community youths that the company was destroying its own properties in the area.
PHED Acting Manager, Corporate Communications, Chioma Aninwe, said despite the prevailing restriction of movement orchestrated by the dusk to dawn curfew imposed by the state government, the company will not rest on its oars in fixing faulty facilities to provide better services to customers.
Aninwe explained that the said community is notorious for violence towards PHED staff, and has shut down its operations on three occasions, while threatening workers of bodily harm.
She stated that as a result, its technical teams now go to work in the company of security operatives for protection from attacks.
She said: “The management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc., PHED, wishes to inform her esteemed customers that it has commenced intensive fault clearing in its franchise area particularly in Rivers State amidst rising threats by Afam Youths.
“This has become imperative as we intend to keep our commitment to customers notwithstanding the prevailing restriction in movement that may impede fault clearing at odd hours especially in Rivers State.
“We therefore wish to use this medium to publicly discountenance the fake story clogging the media space about PHED destroying its own equipment.
“Contrary to the report, the aforementioned community is known for its violence and intimidation towards PHED staff.
“It was therefore this habitual hostility that informed the company’s decision to engage security operatives in its drive to clear faults on the lines over the weekend.
“It would be recalled that it was widely reported through different media that Afam Community completely shut down our business operations on three occasions: January 2017, January 2018 and August 2020 amidst threats of bodily harm to our staff.”
The company vehemently frowned at such destruction, warning that it will not hesitate to invoke the law to bring perpetrators to book.
“Customers are advised to use our 24/7 call centre on 070022557433 and verified social media handles @PHEDconnect to channel their specific complaint.
“We encourage our valued customers to partner with PHED by paying their bills promptly to enable us deliver on our promises” Aninwe added