Calabar: Agony of Mary Slessor’s city in protracted darkness

Calabar: Agony of Mary Slessor's city in protracted darkness

Governor Ben Ayade

On a normal day, Calabar is a pride of Nigeria.

Apart from being a comparatively clean city, it has a rich culture and tourism that attracts many people from all parts of the world.

The city often associated with Mary Slessor, the European missionary said to have stopped the killing of twins, particularly showacses itresistible grandeur during its annual festivala and carnival.

But there is fire on the mountain in Calabar currently.

In the past 48 days, it has been in darkness – and those who should be in charge are not shown concern.

Now residents have started to count their losses following 48 days of power outage to the capital city of the state.

Some of the residents on Tuesday lamented how the development had affected their means of livelihoods.

They regretted the fact that nobody, especially from the government seemed to be doing anything to restore power supply to the area since March 22.

The residents noted that though the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) has attributed the power outage to vandalism of their transmission line to Calabar, they wondered why it is taking so long a time to fix it.

The respondents noted that lack of power supply to the city had greatly affected their means of livelihoods and as such, wanted urgent solution to restore it.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, they narrated how they depend on generating sets which cost much in terms of buying of fuel and thus affects their profit margin.

A resident and manager of Victor Fitness Gym, Ms Grace Okon, lamented that from a daily power supply of about seven hours to zero was not a funny way to run a business.

“I now spend an average of N3,000 daily on fuel instead of N1,500 before the cut in public power supply because I need electricity to operate between 6:30am and 6pm until the last customer leaves.

“Again, a block of ice that cost between N100 to N150 now costs N500 to cold drinks for customers.

“It is really affecting me and I want an urgent solution to the problem,” she stated.

Similarly, a barber shop operator, Mr Oyama Bassey, bemoaned the same thing and noted that in spite of the increased in his charges, it had not helped matters.

“It is a pathetic situation because I depend on this business to cater for my family, but nothing seems to be moving again because of the cut in power supply to Calabar.

“I had to increase my charges from N300 to N400 to cater for the over N2500 from N1000 I spend on fuel before the cut.

“I am pained because am still not making any profit and yet customers are complaining about the increment,” he said.

Another resident, Idara-Obong Jeremiah, while regretting the situation, said it had greatly affected night life in the city.

Meanwhile, Mr Collins Igwe, Regional Manager of PHEDC, has called for calm as efforts are being made to restore power supply to the City.

He stated that a team of engineers were working hard to put in place the vandalised lines that supply electricity to Calabar. (

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