23rd June, 2011
Residents of Audu Baale Street, Iwaya in Yaba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, have appealed to the authority of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), to save them from tragedy, by tidying up of loose electric cables that litter the street.
They made the appeal following an ugly incident that happened last Saturday night in which a resident of the street, Mrs. Aminat Arowolo, was electrocuted after stepping on a live wire that fell from an electric pole.
Commenting on the incident, Chief Joseph Yusuf Afuwa, the Otun Ajiroba of Iwaya, described it as unfortunate and which could have been averted, while blaming officials of PHCN of negligence.
According to him, â€œwhat happened on Saturday was pathetic and unfortunate and the cause the womanâ€™s death was as a result of lack of maintenance of public utilities in the country.
â€œI was told that the community had written several letters to that effect but nothing was done to rectify the problem and now, it has led to the death of one of us.â€
On solution to the problem, the Otun Ajiroba said all electric poles should be inspected periodically to ascertain if the cables are loose or not and that those that are considered too old should be replaced.
Afuwa also tasked the PHCN to find a means of compensating the family of the deceased.
Mr. Samsideen Ayinde, another resident, also blamed the PHCN on the death of the 30-year old woman, saying the power company should look for a way of avoiding such tragic incident.
According to Ayinde, before the woman got electrocuted at about 9.30 p.m. on Saturday, the wire had sparked several times and no official of PHCN made any move to rectify the fault, not until when it killed the woman.
Meanwhile, a youth leader in the community, Rotimi Olaitan Alade said youths in the area would continue to be at loggerheads with officials of PHCN until all the old electric cables in the community are changed.
He stated that on many occasion, wires cut off from the poles without any effort to fix them and that youths in the community can only come to terms with PHCN officials when they wake up to their responsibility.
However, a senior official at a PHCN office in Makoko absolved the power company of all blames over the incident.
The official, who did not want his name mentioned said, although lamented the incident and called on the residents to desist from fixing faults by themselves, noting that it was as a result of this that the ugly incident of Saturday occurred.