The Bayelsa State Police Command had to deploy six vans full of armed policemen to the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) at Opolo to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
According to investigations, the protest was sparked by the decision of the PHEDC Yenagoa office, to embark on the distribution of bills for the month of January and February and also disconnecting power source of those owning the company.
The protesters, armed with placards with inscription such as ‘Bayelsans do not deserve darkness’ ‘No Electricity No Payment’ ‘ We cannot pay for darkness’ ‘ Enough of PHEDC stories’ ‘ We rise up to reject darkness’ bemoaned the power outage in the state and the indifference of the PHEDC to the plight of the people.
Chairman of the Civil Liberty Organisation in Bayelsa State, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, who led the protesters, said Bayelsans were tired of the stories being offered by PHEDC as the cause of the power outage in the state.
James-Eriworio who said Bayelsans were demanding for the installation of pre-paid meters and the outlawing of bulk billing through the operation of light committee, also warned the PHEDC to stop sending bills of light not consume in by the people.
He called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate allegations of underhand deals and economic sabotage by some PHEDC officials in Bayelsa State.
“PHEDC should change the current officials at its Yenagoa office. We need people that would have passion to be posted to Bayelsa state and not those that would come and introduce criminal tendencies and fraudulent inject bills for people. PHEDC should stop sending bills for light not consumed.
“As we are talking, they are going back disconnecting, tampering, intimidating and dehumanizing. They have used their agents to vital parts of transformers in different parts of the state.