The people of Omuo community, headquarters of Ekiti East Local Government Area of Ekiti State, have bemoaned the continued non-availability of electricity in the entire communities in the council area for over one year.
The people of Omuo said several other communities in Ekiti East Local Government Area, including, Ilasa, Omuo-Oke, Ikun, Araromi, Isinbode, Eda-Ile, Kota, among others, have also been without electricity since they were disconnected in February 2016.
Speaking on behalf of the communities, a leader in Omuo-Ekiti, Mr Ayodele Adegbuyi, told newsmen that the electricity issue could be traced to the disconnection of the communities from Kogi State and the attempt to reconnect them to a distribution company.
Adegbuyi said the issue of accumulated bills had come up when the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), to which the communities were to be connected, said they were indebted to the company to the tune of N78 million.
He said the BEDC told the communities that they would have to clear the debt before electricity could be restored to the council area.
He lamented that several artisans, who rely on electricity to power their businesses, had found it difficult to cope as their sources of income had been negatively affected by the blackout.
He said: “People now take turns at barbers’ shops to charge their mobile phones when the barbers have businesses while some also take their phones and rechargeable lamps to churches and mosques to charge.”
He said the streetlights erected by the state government on a recently built dual carriageway are being powered by a generating set attached to the palace of the Olomuo of Omuo, Oba Noah Omonigbehin.
Adegbuyi further said: “the streetlights, which runfrom 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, is the only semblance of electricity and people flock around there most evenings to enjoy its ambience.”
He explained that the affected communities had not been able to raise the sum demanded by the electricity company, adding that their elected and appointed political office-holders had also not been able to raise it.
“The leadership of the various communities have, therefore, imposed levies on themselves. For instance, each household in Ilasa-Ekiti will pay N5,000. The bill for Omuo, when it was shared came to N3,000 per household. It is all in a bid to raise the money. We really need help from government and public-spirited individuals,” Adegbuyi stated.