Life has become miserable for residents of six communities along Igirigiri Road in Odo Ado area of Ado-Ekiti as a one-year power outage has crippled socioeconomic activities.
Landlords in the communities are calling on Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to power a transformer recently repaired by the Chairman
of Ado Ekiti Local Government, Ayodeji Ogunsakin, to the tune of N2 million.
They said the prolonged blackout has led to a mass exodus of residents
including tenants from their houses which has deprived them of income as a good number of them (landlords) are pensioners.
The affected communities are Ayunbo 1, Ayunbo 2, Ayisola 1, Ayisola 2,
Umesi and Akinyede.
Youths are consequently planning a public protest but are being
calmed down by the elders who fear that the protest could turn violent.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, chairman of Ayunbo 2 Landlords Association,
Mr. Amusa Eleso Atobalo, said the last time the beleaguered residents
received public power suply was April 16, 2016 due to a faulty transformer which has now packed up.
He explained that the Ado-Ekiti local government chairman whose office is located in the area bailed the residents out by facilitating the repair of
the transformer while BEDC has allegedly refused to energize the
Others who spoke with reporters at the forum included the Vice Chairman, Pastor Bamidele Olatunji; the Secretary, Primate James Adesola, Pastor Samuel Abimbola, Mr. Anthony Aduloju and Mr. Kayode Eleso.
Adesola said the community association wrote to BEDC Ado-Ekiti Business Manager on the collapse of the transformer and its repairs by the council boss saying residents won’t pay electricity bills until the transfomer is swtiched on by the electricity company.
He said: “We cannot be paying for services not rendered; let them come and energize the transformer and if that is done today, we wil be ready to pay our bills. It is the duty of BEDC to repair the transformer but they fail to do so but they are now frustrating the efforts of the local government chairman.
Abimbola said it was wrong for BEDC to be asking residents who had not
enjoyed power supply for over one year to pay before the transformer is
energized saying the Federal Government is to blame for privatizing power supply which he said had gone worse than when it was managed by government. But the spokesman of Ado-Ekiti Business Unit of BEDC, Mr. Ilori Brown, maintained that the residents are owing the electricity agency and must pay before enjoying power supply.
Brown said BEDC was not aware of the repair of the transformer adding that the electricity company was not carried along hence it could not vouch for the integrity of work done on the facility.
He said: “You don’t just energize a transformer like that; it has to be
done by those certified to do it because anything can happen if somebody not properly rained to handle it goes there.
“We were never carried along and nobody told us that they had repaired the transformer and there is no official communication with BEDC that such thing has been done. They should go and pay what they are owng.”