RISING CASES OF ELECTROCUTION

The statistics of deaths by electrocution appear long. Yet available reports indicate that most of electrocutions resulted from a lackadaisical attitude of the electricity company workers, particularly the PHCN who ignore early warnings and appeals from residents about faulty wires in their neighbourhoods. The time -lag between when a fault is reported and when fixed by PHCN sometimes goes up to one week or even one month. Sometimes they don’t even respond and in such a situation residents are left on their own with the attendant risks.

Death by electrocution has become so rampant and alarming in the country that the electricity power authorities ought to take note and do something to remedy the problem. In the course of one year, at least hundred lives have been lost to death by electric shock. In a most recent incident at Ikorodu, Lagos State, a factory worker was electrocuted after a senior staff of the company allegedly denied him access to the company’s toilet facilities. According to reports, the casual worker, Ebor Ofem, 27, had wanted to ease himself and had asked a senior staff of the company for the key to the convenience, but was refused access on account that it was meant for staff and not casual workers. The man then went towards the company’s perimeter fence area to ease himself not knowing the fence had been secured with live electric cables which subsequently electrocuted him.

On March 11, a police officer, Sunday Joseph, was electrocuted at a police barracks close to the Ogun State Government House while attempting to rescue a 17-year old boy who was trapped by a Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) high-tension cable. The boy also died from electrocution in the incident which occurred at one of the road – expansion construction sites in the Isale Igbein area of the state. Eyewitnesses said the teenager was scavenging for some materials from the rubble being used by a construction company to fill a ditch when he stepped on a PHCN live cable.

Just last week again, the Police averted a serious clash between staff of
PHCN and residents of Ibala area of Ilesa town in Osun State after a two-year old boy died from electrocution. Incidentally, prior to the incident a woman who lived in the area had reported to PHCN officials that a live wire had fallen on the ground inside her compound. Rather than take action, the officials reportedly advised the woman to “look for someone to fold the live wire pending a time the company would come to fix the fault.” In the event the two-year old boy stepped on the live wire and was electrocuted.

In yet another shocking incident, a middle-aged woman and her son were electrocuted in Osogbo, also in Osun State by a cable felled by rain on Monday, April 1. Mother and son reportedly stepped on live electric cable as they attempted to escape from the electric shocks that reportedly affected their homes when the cable fell. Earlier in January this year tragedy truck in Ikosi area of Lagos, when a high tension wire snapped off a pole, electrocuting a staff of the PHCN, and a security guard who had lived and worked in the area for about 30 years.

The statistics of deaths by electrocution appear long. Yet available reports indicate that most of electrocutions resulted from a lackadaisical attitude of the electricity company workers, particularly the PHCN who ignore early warnings and appeals from residents about faulty wires in their neighbourhoods. The time -lag between when a fault is reported and when fixed by PHCN sometimes goes up to one week or even one month. Sometimes they don’t even respond and in such a situation residents are left on their own with the attendant risks.

Furthermore, in several places across the country today, there are many old and broken down wooden and concrete electricity poles, some with naked wires dangling overhead. It only takes a serious rainfall or heavy wind to blow off some of the poles. In such a situation, inhabitants of the affected areas or even passersby live in constant fear of instant death. Therefore, as the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. Thus we call on the PHCN authorities to develop a habit of quick response to complaints about fallen electricity poles and exposed live wires.

(Source: Thisdaylive.com)

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