IYC occupies the offices of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company 

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—Their action is unlawful, causing hardship to consumers – PHED

The Ijaw Youth Council, Central Zone, has vowed to continue to occupy the offices of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

The IYC Chairman in the zone, Kennedy Olorogun, said the occupation of the PHED offices in the state capital was as a result of the over-billing of Bayelsa residents without adequate power supply commensurate with what the residents were paying for.

Speaking with Southern City News in a telephone chat on Sunday, Jan. 5, Olorogun stated that its flag would continue to fly in all the PHED offices in Yenagoa until the firm changed its style relating with the people.

Olorogun stated that apart from occupying the offices, the IYC in the zone was considering mobilising the people for a protest against the PHED.

He said, “We are Bayelsa people; we are not tired. We are okay with the blackout, because that is a situation we have been before. It is only when they want to collect bills or distribute their bills that they give us electricity light.

“That is what the PHED has been doing to the Bayelsa people. Of course, we are not tired of occupying the offices; we are still occupying the offices. After now, we are thinking of mobilising the people for a serious protest.

“We want the firm’s licence to be revoked. These people are not good considering how they have been treating Bayelsans.

“They must repent from their evil ways by giving us light; all we want is light for our people and we will change our stand. We don’t have any personal issue with the PHED.”

But the PHED, through its Corporate Communications Manager, Mr John Onyi, expressed dissatisfaction with the continued occupation of its offices in Yenagoa by the IYC.

Onyi lamented that the IYC members chased its officials away from their offices on December 23, 2019, and hoisted their flag in all the offices.

He told Southern City News that the continued occupation of the offices of the firm had made residents of the state capital to remain in darkness for over a week.

Onyi explained that the total blackout was also causing residents and corporate organisations in Yenagoa economic distress and appealed to the IYC to vacate the offices.

He stated, “The IYC members are still there; they have not removed their flag. As I speak with you, there is no service in Yenagoa and environs.

“We want them to vacate the place so that we will continue our normal business.

“We are still appealing to them that they should not make life unbearable for the paying customers.

“It is regrettable that economic activities in the state have been paralysed arising from the action of the IYC, but it is ideal to bring to public knowledge that the world over, the demand and consumption of electricity have a cost element, which has ceased to be the case here.

“The PHED completely distances itself from any economic dislocation inflicted on its valued customers in Yenagoa arising from the unlawful action of the IYC to keep the state in total darkness, but deems it appropriate to set the record straight.”