Anambra - More than 1000 residents of Iyiowa Odekpe on Onitsha-Atani road on Tuesday staged a peaceful rally in protest against alleged persistent inflated electricity bills by the PHCN.
The residents trooped to the PHCN, Ogbaru Business District, at about 9 a.m. with placards.
Some of the placards read: ``We are tired of estimated bills’’, ``We need prepaid meters’’ and ``Enough of extortion by PHCN staff’’.
The protesters prevented staff of PHCN from gaining access to their offices.
This led to a build-up of traffic for more than two hours along the road before the intervention of the police.
Chief Edwin Okolie, the leader of the community, who had hectic time calming the youths, said the community was tired of paying estimated bills which are as high as N7,000 per month.
He said this trend had been going on for many months.
Okolie saidthe community also needed some transformers while ``we are demanding to be treated as other communities in this Onitsha area’’.
A close door meeting between the management of PHCN and the leaders of the community to resolve the issue ended in a deadlock.
After the meeting, Okolie said that the residents’ negotiation committee would now petition the National Electricity Regulatory Commission over the exorbitant bills without commensurate power supply.
``From indications, the PHCN management here is neither ready to comply with our demands nor sincere in their promise,’’ he said.
Reacting, Mr Chijioke Uzoeto, a manager with PHCN, Ogbaru Business District, said that when he resumed office, it was discovered that some residents were not paying their bills.
He said some had obsolete and abnormal meters.
Uzoeto saidthat PHCN had taken delivery of 2,000 meters to replace the obsolete ones while awaiting the pre-paid meters.