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Ondo youths protest against 10 years outage

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The protesters

Thousands of youths took to the streets to protest against 10 years of power outage in the South senatorial district of Ondo State, lamenting utter marginalisation of the riverine area by the state government. 

The youths, under the aegis of Ilaje Advancement Forum (IAF), mobilised themselves at Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area at the weekend, chanting “Ko sina, ko sibo,” meaning, “no light, no election.”

It led to traffic gridlock in the town and paralysed economic activities for many hours as the youths armed with placards embarked on peaceful procession. 

The placards read: “Ilaje: enough is enough; What offence has Ilaje people committed; Ondo State government has failed us; OSOPADEC is fake, NDDC is fraud; No light, no election,” among others.

Co-convener of the forum, Tokunbo Ehinmowo, decried the deplorable state of the riverine area, adding that the Ilaje nation, despite its huge natural resources, is suffering neglect. She said the unavailability of power had plunged the people into untold hardship for the past 10 years. 

She lamented that there are dearth of industries, factories, prevalence of infrastructural decay, environmental degradation, poor empowerment programmes, which she attributed to failure of their representatives at all levels. 

The OSOPADEC chairman, Gbenga Edema, sympathised with the people of the area, assuring that efforts are in top gear by the state government to ensure that there is restoration of electricity in the senatorial district. 

He, however, noted that the menace been lingering in the area for over a decade, revealing that he had been at the forefront of the vanguard to decry the outright marginalisation of the riverine communities. 

“I sympathise with them and also feel their pains because an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. We agree that electricity is key to development. A lot of our youths who have trained as artisans, need energy.” 


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