Ondo Communities Protests 8 Months Power Outage
  • The protesters who were mainly artisans and youths in large numbers took to the streets and blocked major roads in the two communities.

    The protest, which lasted for several hours forced shops and business owners to hurriedly close for the day.

    The protesters accused the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of not responding to their complaints over the months.

    When our correspondent visited the area, men of the Ondo State Police Command were seen on ground apparently to avoid breakdown of law and order.

    Speaking on behalf of the over 100 protesters, Mr. Otaru Jerry Eshimakhe said the communities had made several efforts to the BEDC over the outage but to no avail.

    He accused the BEDC of being insensitive to the plights of their customers.

    Also, he disclosed that the power outage in the communities has affected the economic and commercial activities of the people, and many businesses had closed down as a result.

    "We have been in total darkness for over eight months and BEDC has not responded to our complaints. Majority of our artisans are closing shops whike others are leaving the communities as a result of the prolonged power outage. We are pleading with the BEDC to have mercy on us and restore power supply here," Eshimakhe said.

    However, the Business Manager of the BEDC in Igbara-Oke Unit, Mrs. Iyabo Adefemi said the company was aware of the power outage, saying the company was doing everything possible to restore power supply to the communities.

    She informed that the transformer supplying electricity to the areas had been damaged, advising the residents to pay their bills for them to have a new transformer.

    "We are aware of the protest by the people and we have advised them in meetings we had with them that they should pay their bills. They are owing us over N29 million, but through several reconciliation of accounts, the bill has 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 communities to repair their damaged transformer," she said.

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