A mild drama unfolded in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, as women from the Mile 2 and Mile 3 areas of Diobu protested prolonged power outage.
The women, frustrated by the lack of electricity, barricaded the office of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) near Isaac Boro Park. They expressed concerns that the intense heat waves resulting from erratic power supply have affected their relationships with their husbands and disrupted their daily lives.
Carrying placards with messages like “We lack romance with our husbands,” “Our husbands no longer touch us at night,” “No light, no payment,” and “The heat is too much,” the protesters marched through major streets in Diobu, including Wokoma, Dim, Wokoma lane, Obaziolu, Dim lane, Egbuagu, Azikiwe, and Ojoto Streets, before heading to the PHED office to voice their grievances.
One protester mentioned that they also face difficulties preserving cooked food for extended periods, leading to disruptions in their businesses due to unreliable power supply by the Port Harcourt distribution company. The affected areas, such as Dim, Wokama, Azikiwe, and Ojoto streets, have been paying monthly electricity bills without receiving corresponding power supply.
The women expressed their frustration at paying for services they do not receive and promised to organize further peaceful protests if the power situation does not improve. One protester stated, “This lack of electricity is making our soup sour. Even when our husbands want to make love to us, the heat will not allow it. We can’t even charge our phones and preserve our food. We are worried.”
Another protester, Nene, emphasized the need for PHED to provide consistent electricity, as they are paying their bills but not getting adequate service. She explained how the heat has even affected their intimate lives with their husbands.
In response, the Public Relations Officer of PHED, Livingstone Koko, acknowledged the issue and described it as a “value chain constraint” beyond the company’s control. He assured the protesters that PHED is working with other industry stakeholders to restore power supply, acknowledging the nationwide challenge related to low power supply.
The protest comes after a meeting between the Minister of Power, Bayo Adelabu, and electricity generation and distribution companies to address the persistent power problems in Nigeria. The country has been grappling with low power supply since December 2023, attributed in part to gas shortages leading to reduced allocations from the national grid.
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