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Poor Power Supply In Itu: Youths Demand Removal Of PHED Uyo Manager

The Itu Youth Development Forum, which has been having a running battle with the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) over poor power supply in their area, has demanded the removal of the company's Head of Integrated Business Centre, Uyo, Engr. Akanimo Ekpe. The forum made the demand in a petition signed by its National President, Obong Ubong Akpan, and Legal Adviser, Barr. Imoh Williams, and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the company. It predicated its demand on what it called "the lukewarm attitude of Engr. Akanimo Ekpe towards all efforts aimed at the restoration of sustainable power supply in Itu Local Government Area. In the petition made available to Midweek Pioneer on Tuesday, the forum claimed that the PHED official "has adamantly refused or neglected to honour his part of the resolution reached by concerned parties at the Commissioner of Police office in Akwa Ibom State sequel to the recent peaceful protest and has consistently failed to attend subsequent meetings (despite the assurances of combined security coverage by the Nigeria Police and the DSS) held to find a lasting solution to the power supply problem in the area. The forum stated that "this attitude of the Manager towards the plight of Itu people is to say the least very provocative and a clear indication of his resolve to continue putting the esteemed customers in Itu LGA in perpetual blackout. It demanded "the immediate replacement of the said Engr. Ekpe with another manager who will be sympathetic to the agitation of Itu people for improved power supply as the host community of two major transmission stations and will also make reasonable effort towards finding a lasting solution to the problem. The forum also condemned what it described as "the patently fraudulent, illegal and oppressive billing methodology and argued that "its applicability can only be acceptable through a proper load assessment of consumers in the area to avoid arbitrary and exorbitant charges. "Alternatively, the area should be metered in line with NERC directive to forestall issues of debts as alleged to be owed by consumers in Itu LGA; this will also go a long way to enable consumers to pay for power consumed, it said. The forum further demanded that "Itu Urban (West Itam) should as a matter of urgency be connected to Afaha Ube TCN feeder 2 to reduce incidence of overloading of feeder 1 for an improved power supply. It also demanded that steps should be taken for the repair and restoration of faulty electrical equipment (transformers and armour cables) in Itu communities. Ekpe, the PHED manager, could not be reached for his side of the story before press time.

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