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PHEDC IMPERSONATOR NABBED AT MKPATAK IN ESSIEN UDIM LGA

By MICHAEL DADA
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In an effort to discourage the proliferation of vandalization of electricity facilities, an impersonator of PHEDC was apprehended recently by the Nigerian Police for illegally connecting a welder to the power grid at Mkpatak in Essien Udim LGA.

It should be recalled that the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Power had decried the rate of vandalization and theft of electricity which has continued to undermine Government's efforts for steady power supply in the state.

According to the Fault Center Manager in Etim Ekpo, Mr. Etim "in an attempt to evade paying electricity bills, a welder plying his trade opposite Topfaith International Secondary School, contracted a quack to connect him to the power grid"

Mr. Etim said while the dastardly act was ongoing, police patrolling the area accosted the perpetrator and requested for his PHEDC ID, the quack's failure to produce an ID landed him in jail.

Meanwhile the welder that contracted the quack, who was previously unidentified by the police, as an act of vendetta, beat up a genuine PHEDC official in the area accusing him of informing the police about the foiled plot.

In retaliation, the Service Manager of PHEDC, Engr. Edem reported the matter to the police and disconnected the area from the grid to serve as a deterrent to other people who are in the habit of harassing and intimidating PHEDC staff.

Although the welder and the quack have been arrested, the people in Mkpatak and its environs have continued to suffer power outage due to disconnection of the community from the power grid by PHEDC.

Concerned residents in the community reported the matter to the Office of the SSA on Power and pleaded for intervention.

Engr. Itoro Udosen from the SSA's office, contacted the Senior Manager, PHEDC Engr. Edem who agreed to reconnect the affected areas to the grid on the condition that the welder pays compensation for the injuries inflicted on the PHEDC staff.

The village Head of Ikot Udom where the welder resides, Chief Innocent Umanah expressed appreciation to the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Power for the timely intervention and pledged to make the welder pay the necessary compensation to the injured PHEDC staff.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Power continues to call on residents to safeguard power infrastructure in their community. Report cases of vandalization to the police or contact the Office of the SSA to the Governor on Power through 08081134400 or visit www.akspower.com.