Ondo residents protest against eight months’ outage
Akure metropolis was on a lockdown on Monday as residents of Araromi communities in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, protested against eight months’ power outage.
Youths and artisans invaded the streets, blocking major roads in a protest that lasted several hours. Their action forced shops and business owners to hurriedly close down. There was also severe traffic jam on the roads around the capital city.
The protesters accused the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of high insensitivity and nonchalant attitude to their complaints over the months to restore power to their communities.
However, a contingent from the Ondo State Police Command were mobilized to the scene to forestall any breakdown of law and order as the residents expressed their grievances.
While addressing journalists on behalf of the landlords’ association, Mr. Otaru Jerry Eshimakhe, lamented that BEDC had been utterly unsympathetic to their plight, adding that the power outage had affected the economic and commercial activities of residents in the area.
“We are have been in total darkness for over eight months now and BEDC has not been responding to our plights. Majority of our artisans are closing shops, while others are leaving the community as a result of the prolonged outage. We are pleading with BEDC to have mercy on us and restore our light,” Eshimakhe said.
But the Business Manager, Igbara-Oke Unit, Mrs. Iyabo Adefemi, said the company was aware of the situation, saying the company was doing everything possible to restore light to the community.
She noted that the transformer supplying electricity to the areas had been damaged and advised the residents to pay their bills for them to acquire a new transformer.“We are aware of the problem and we have advised them in our meetings with them that they should pay their bills. They are owing us over N29 million, but through several reconciliation of accounts, the bill had been reduced to N11 million. They should pay and we will work on the faulty transformer for them to have light. We can’t use payments from other community to repair their damaged transformer.”