By Ushang Ewa
A 28 year old Bureau De Change (BDC) operator, Mallam Suleiman Zakari was on Monday electrocuted at Barracks road in Calabar, the Cross River State capital after stepping on a high tension cable while attempting to put out a fire caused by power surge reports Vanguard.
Zakari who hails from Kano state operates a BDC at Bogobiri, a few meters away from his house was electrocuted when a high tension cable fell in front of his house at about 6:00 AM Monday.
Ibrahim Hassan, an eyewitness said that there was a spark at about 4:00 AM and power was cut but restored 2 hours later when its restoration led to the falling of a cable that Mr. Zakari stepped on.
“We heard a large sound at about 4a.m., yesterday. When we rushed out, we discovered that it was the transformer. So there was power outage minutes later. Surprisingly, around 6a.m., it was restored and that was when the cable fell and caused a fire.”
“People were shouting ‘fire,’ ‘fire.’ Suleman rushed out with a bucket of water mixed with detergent to put it out. Unknown to him, there was a live high tension wire in front of his door step, which he stepped on. The rest is history,” Mr. Hassan said.
The deceased wife whom he got married to last year is still in shock over her husband’s passing as she nurses their three month old baby with the leader of the Hausa/Fulani and Moslem community in the state, Sarki Salisu Abba Lawan calling for drastic steps to be taken to address the issue of electrocution.
“The last time I saw the victim was at last Friday’s Jumaat service. I was shocked when I got a report that he has been electrocuted because a high tension wire fell; it is so sad, but we surrender to the will of Allah.
“Government, as matter of urgency, must upgrade our electrification system to something better and more efficient. “The high tension cables are sub-standard and vulnerable; they fail once there is power surge,” Mr. Lawan said.
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