THE House of Assembly member representing Awgu south state constituency, Hon. Johnson Chukwuobasi has expressed his agitation over the continuous destruction of Electricity accessories in his constituency.
UGAMATV had earlier reported that the Communities of Awgu south state constituency, in Awgu local government area of Enugu state had jointly becried and solicited the urgent aid of the Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and every concerned agency over the recurrent vandalisation of Electricity accessories by unknown hoodlums in their locality.
The state constituency in it’s entirety, in several years had been plunged into darkness as they had been without electricity, since the already installed power outfits were continually destroyed by unknown vandals.
However, last year, the member representing Awgu, Aninri and Oji river federal constituency in the house of representatives, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu, pulled efforts with the member representing Awgu south constituency in Enugu state house of assembly, Hon. Johnson Chukwuobasi, to reconnect all the communities to an electricity source.
This, they achieved by setting up several committees that worked tirelessly to ensure the reconnection and installation of Electricity through out the communities.
The committee members also came to a consensus with the Enugu Electricity destribution company(EEDC), concerning the massive outstanding bills. That being settled, power was restored to the communities.
Unfortunately, two weeks ago, the no-gooders reconvened and relaunched an attack on the communities’ electricity again, as the deliberately vandalized six spans of electrical conductors and accessories at the post at Aki n’ukwa junction.
To ammeliorate this problem, Hon. Johnson Chukwuobasi and a committee member, Prince A. C Mba, approached the MD of EEDC to rectify the ills.
He then, graciously approved the movement of construction materials to the site, to commence the restoration of Electricity to the affected areas.
Yesterday, the hoodlums, perceiving this development, proceeded and destroyed Eight spans of electrical accessories around De world University, causing major power outage in the communities of the hemisphere.
A community project to electrify communities in the Obeagu-Achi axis conducted in 2012 was also observed to have been destroyed.
This could have been an alternative reconnection route for Awgu Communities to the grid. However, all the Cables had been cut and destroyed.
Electricity projects in Nenwe communities and Oji axis were also willfully damaged.
These series of vandalism has launched the communities in an uncanny uproar.
The community amid all the chaos, implores a prompt and immediate response from the government at both state and local government levels to apprehend and prosecute these vandals, as well as to restore electricity to the areas.
Chukwuobasi expressed his dissatisfaction in a press statement made available to the media which reads thus:
“IS AWGU JINXED TOREMAIN BACKWARD ORWE ARE THE ARCHITECT OF OURPROBLEMS
Electricity first came to Awgu LG between 1989 -1990, but by 1993, the joy of the emerging satellite town “Awgu City” was cut short after hoodlums vandalized the 33KVA cable supplying power to Awgu LGA. Many thought it was ‘the usual power outage, “little did we know that we had just being welcomed by the end of Electricity in Awgu which spanned for almost two decades.
Within the inglorious non-existent power supply to Awgu LGA even extending to Aninri LGA, all the electricity installations including transformers, insulators and aluminum conductors witnessed massive vandalization. Every appeal made by the AWGU people to the then successive military administration in Enugu state yielded no result as such we survived in darkness until the return of democracy in 1999. Still it did not end our woes as electrifying Awgu was a major campaign point to pay court to Awgu. We had to wait for the second term of Dr Chimaroke Nnamani to get Part of Awgu North reconnected to the National grid and Awgu south had to wait a little more for the government of Barr. Sullivan Chime in collaboration with then LG administration to reconnect Awgu south.
But it seems our people have forgotten so quickIly, if they have, let me remind us of the lingering negative effects of those days of power outage. Part of the reasons for the relocation of then council Chairman to Enugu and since then, all the successive council chairmen have continued to administer Awgu from Enugu city, includes but not limited to absence of electricity in Awgu. The same can be said of successive Magistrates posted to Awgu, ward Councilors, Supervisors, the same with DPOs, SSS directors, HPM and Secretaries to Local Govt, Treasurers to LG and finally LG workers. After their migration, Awgu became a ghost of itself. You can imagine the economic impacts of these cadre of public and civil servants alike, had they continued to reside in Awgu.
Just about this time last year, it surfaced on social media that a lot of communities in Awgu LG particularly Mbanano (Awgu south) has long been without electricity supply. I scheduled a meeting with the PGs of Awgu and the confirmation was unanimous. The challenges ranged from lack of metering devices which resulted to over estimated bills, constant interruption of supply as a result of over grown vegetation along the supply line, rationing supply amongst communities along the supply line, to corrupt community electricity committees, coupled with over billing which led to huge community debts that occasioned disconnection. The story was almost same in every community.
We took it up by constituting ourselves into a committee known as Awgu Electricity committee. The idea was to look into the power supply issues in Awgu LG. having confirmed the true situation. First, met with the Management of EEDC and TCN after which they assured us of their cooperations. we then gave ourselves target to resolve all issues and ensure Supply is restored to Awgu on or before Christmas 2020, by January this year, many communities with power institutions intact had their lines reconnected. Courtesy of Hon Chukwuobasi led Committee.
As the committee and EEDC were almost concluding on the issues related with over billing and modalities for defraying debts already accumulated by different communities, it seems some people are bent on taking us back to the woods.
The last three weeks was the beginning of a repetition of the 1993 scenario, God forbid. It was last PDP meeting at Mmaku that afforded me the opportunity to catch the glimpse of what is the reason for the current power outage, I was already suspecting “usual interruption” is of supply by EEDC, not knowing it was handiwork of vandals around Aku na Ukwa (Mgbowo Junction) “. Instantly, I contacted the network manager Awknanaw District who confirmed the information. I tried to know if there was anything he could do but I understood there is little or nothing he could do at that moment.
Hence, the need for an urgent committee meeting to weigh the options and the fastest means to ensure supply is restored to Awgu and forestall further vandalism on our supply lines. Led by Myself and Prince Alloy Mba in consultation with Rt Hon Toby Okechukwu, we scheduled an emergency meeting with the Deputy Managing Director EEDC for a possible solution out of this quagmire, in the meeting We solicited for the assistance of the DMD and relied on him for speedy reconnection by approving, releasing conductors, insulators and mobilizing his men to fix the portion that were vandalized by the unknown criminal elements. After listening, immediately he granted our requests.
EEDC field workers were still taking delivery of the approved materials in preparation to mobilize to site, for the replacement of the vandalized portion when information came that another vandalization incident had occurred just a few meters away from the initial point. To cut the long story, who did we offend and has avowed not to see Awgu grow along her contemporaries.
My question now is, are these vandals living with us or are they just anonymous nomadic robbers? Either ways, what should we as a people do, to nip the ugly trend in the bud. the repetition of such shameful history as 93 is not healthy for us all.
While I am confident that the hoodlums cannot over-run all of us, I call on the Awgu police department, SSS, civil defense Corp, LG council authority, community policing, President of Towns Union, ndi Igwe, Youth organizations, Forest guards and vigilante outfits to join hands with govt. to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book and prevent future occurrence.