The Academic Staff Union of Universities at Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma, Edo State on Tuesday decried the lingering power outage within the university community after it was allegedly disconnected by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.
The community located in Esan-West Local Government Area of the state was said to have been disconnected from the national grid by the BEDC over an alleged misunderstanding between the company and some electricity consumers in the area.
The situation was said to have left the community in darkness and hardship for several months.
The state Head of the BEDC, Mr. Fidelis Obishai, could not be reached for comments by our correspondent on Monday.
Calls put across to his telephone number did not connect while he had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.
But in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary, ASUU-AAU, Dr. Monday Igbafen and Dr. Anthony Aizebioje-Coker, respectively, the union lamented that the development had adversely affected academic and commercial activities in the areas.
It also stated that the outage had led to an increase in crime.
The union expressed worry that the power firm allegedly remained adamant, despite a series of peaceful interventions by some prominent persons in Ekpoma, including the traditional ruler of the area.
It, therefore, urged the BEDC to use the opportunity of the intervention of the state House of Assembly’s Standing Committee on Energy and Water Resources to resolve the crisis and re-establish a cordial social and business relationship with electricity consumers in the affected areas.
The union, however, warned that further delay in the restoration of electricity in the town and environs may escalate the crisis and position the BEDC as an insensitive organization.
The statement read in part, “ASUU-AAU, Ekpoma, wishes to state that the continuous and deliberate cut of electricity supply to Ekpoma has not only disrupted the socio-economic life of the people, it is hampering the smooth running of academic activities in the university.
“It has also heightened the problem of insecurity in the area and the general living condition of our members in and outside the university.
“While expressing concern over the development, ASUU-AAU, Ekpoma, calls on BEDC to quickly see to the resolution of the crisis and restore the confidence of consumers of electricity by restoring electricity supply in earnest.”