*Company decries high vandalism in Southeast
By Damian Duruiheoma, Enugu
No fewer than 20 transformers have been attacked and vandalised by vandals across the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) network within the past three weeks in the Southeast.
This is just as four vandals have been apprehended in various parts of the Southeast for vandalizing electrical installations belonging to the EEDC.
According to the head of corporate communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, “well over twenty transformers have been attacked by vandals across the company’s network in the past three weeks, with four of the vandals apprehended”.
He said that one of the vandals identified as Wisdom Kalu Onu, an indigene of Abia State was on Thursday, apprehended by the security personnel of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, for vandalizing electrical installations located within the Campus premises, belonging to the EEDC.
Eze disclosed that the suspect along with the vandalized materials had been handed over to Nsukka Urban Police Station for proper investigation and possible prosecution.
He added that on Monday, at Ndibe, in Afikpo North Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, a suspect identified as Ogbonnia Otu, was apprehended by the President General of the community with the support of his team, in possession of 150mm2 upriser cable believed to have been carted from a distribution substation belonging to EEDC.
“Similarly, on Sunday, a suspected vandal, Tochukwu Onumaegbulam was arrested by the Electricity Committee Task Force of Umuloola Community, Orlu, Imo State, for vandalizing the distribution substation serving the community.
“In Abatete, Anambra State, Ndubuisi Okuogba was arrested by members of Vigilante Group in Abatete, for vandalizing a 500KVA distribution substation serving the area. The suspect was apprehended while in possession of four intermediate armoured cables stolen from the substation, which he had burnt for the purpose of extracting the copper, before his arrest.
“The suspects were handed over to the respective Police Stations for proper investigation and possible prosecution.”
While decrying the high vandalism of the company’s transformers and electrical installations in the Southeast, Eze reiterated the company’s resolve to continue working with critical stakeholders to ensure that the elements perpetrating the dastardly act were apprehended and brought to book.
He lamented that no day passes without the company receiving a report of electrical installation that has been attacked.
“It has gone so bad that the vandals now go as far as draining transformer oil, even after carting away with the armoured cables. This is quite disheartening”, Eze said.
While calling on customers to be more involved in securing these installations that are serving them, Ezeh commended the efforts of the Security Personnel, Vigilante Groups, as well as the President General and his team, in apprehending the suspects.
He said, “There is need for our customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that electricity installations sited within their neighbourhood are protected against attacks by these criminal elements in the society”.
Ezeh reiterated that these vandals were capitalizing on the poor availability occasioned by the drop in quantum of power generation experienced in the sector in recent times, which has adversely affected the company’s daily energy allocation.
“We keep committing millions of Naira restoring vandalized installations and this is no longer sustainable, considering our current financial state”, he lamented.