Their demonstration was in response to the extended period of power outage experienced in the area.
The women from the Mile 2 and Mile 3 axis of Diobu, Port Harcourt barricaded the PHED office near the Isaac Boro Park in Port Harcourt, saying their husbands barely have time with them at night due to intense heat waves occasioned by epileptic power supply.
The placard-carrying protesters matched 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 register their displeasure.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards carried by the Rivers women read, “We lack romance with our husbands’, ‘Our husbands no longer touch us at night’, No light no payment’, ‘The heat is too much,’ ‘PHED help us to sleep well with our husbands’, among others
One of the Rivers women who did not want her name mentioned said they also find it difficult to preserve cooked foods for weeks, pointing out that their business has been grounded due to poor power supply by the Port Harcourt distribution firm.
She listed the areas mostly affected as Dim, Wokama, Azikiwe, and Ojoto streets, even as they expressed dismay that they pay light bills monthly without a corresponding power supply.
She said they could not be paying for darkness.
The protesting women promised to re-mobilise and come for another round of peaceful protest if the condition did not improve.
She stated, “This lack of light (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 who gave her name as Nene, said “This protest is for PHED to give us light. We are paying bills but not seeing the light. Our pot of soup getting bad, and even having sex with our husbands is a problem because of heat.
“Last night, my husband wanted to have fun with me but the heat was too much, and I could not. We could not do anything. So PHED should give us light or else we will not pay the bill for this month.”
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer with the PEHD, Livingstone Koko, said the current power situation was beyond the control of the company, saying it is a value chain issue.
Koko stated, “It is a value chain constraint. It is beyond our control. However, we also share their sentiments and try to let them know that we are working with other players in the industry to ensure that supply is being restored.
“It is nothing short of what is being experienced around the country. So we are aware of the challenge and we apologise and ask them to bear with us.”
The protest is coming days after the Minister of Power, Bayo Adelabu, held a meeting with electricity generation and distribution companies.
Adelabu said the meeting was held to proffer solutions to the lingering power problems in the country.
The country has been experiencing a low power supply since December 2023.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria as well as electricity distribution companies have, however, blamed the situation on gas shortages leading to low allocation from the national grid.