Omu Aleku, an agrarian community in Ofada/Mokoloki Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, has pleaded with the government to liberate them from economic hardship and sufferings owing to lack of electricity.
According to the residents, although the fast-growing community has over 8,000 inhabitants, comprising entrepreneurs and farmers, among others, it has been in total darkness since its over 150 years of existence,.
They called on Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun to come to their aid by providing a 500KVA electricity transformer to liberate the community from the hardship and unpleasant condition they are currently experiencing.
Lamenting that the community has remained under-developed over the years, the Baale of the community, Chief Soyetan Olanrewaju, also decried lack of development in the area, while observing that the community has played a major role in ensuring that its people live up to their civic responsibilities.
He said: “We have over 8,000 population and more than 1,000 acres in our boundary survey but since its existence over 150 years ago till date, there is no electricity. We have five registered community development associations (CDA) namely Ifesowapo, Mr. Biggs Estate, Royal Crown, Araromi and Shorin that joined hands towards the progress of the community. In the past and presently, we mobilise people to vote for leaders both at the state and local government levels. Despite all these, we have not benefitted anything from the government since the existence of the community.
“Still, tax officers come regularly to seal shops for defaulters of shop permits and other tariffs. We built roads for ourselves. There is no single government school in this community except some well-meaning people that established private schools. There is no health center. And as if we are being singled out to be in darkness, we are in total blackout.”
Olanrewaju called on the government for quick intervention, noting that: “the community is ever ready to remain law-abiding despite all odds. We are preparing our people again for the next election in terms of carrying out our civic responsibilities. We are lovers of progressive governments. But let the government come to our aid.”
A representative of all the CDAs in the area, Chief Muiyilu Akinyele said the rate at which people were suffering “because of lack of electricity is increasingly unbearable”. He recounted the steps the community had taken to address the issue among other developmental projects, stating that: “We have expended not less than the sum of N10 million on community projects in the past three years. We have embarked on electrification project; written letters to IBDEC headquarters, Ibadan and NERC headquarters Abuja but till today, there is no response. We are appealing to the government to liberate us from the darkness. We are now helpless because of economic hardship in the country. All these are beside the building police post, upgrading of our road annually.”
Spokesperson of the community, Popoola Biodun added that “the community has provided and installed high-quality concrete high tension poles, built transformer house to the nearest grid termination point, which is over a distance of 1.2 kilometers.
“We have also contributed money to provide and install 33KVA capacity transformer, insulation pots, and other ancillary components. We purchased 150 mm aluminum conductor and stringing of the same spanning over 1.2 kilometers.
We constructed befitting and fortified transformer house and base. We provided and installed high-quality concrete low tension poles in the entire community for easy connections to homes, offices, and factories. We also embarked on the clearing of the path and road along the poles corridor for unhindered access and obstruction of any kind,” he said.
The Chairman of Arigbawonwo Community Development Committee (ACDC), the umbrella body of the CDAs, Adetola Adekanye, also pleaded to the government on behalf of residents of Omu Aleku, saying: “Total darkness in Omu Aleku has been so embarrassing. We want the government to look into it so as to boost the economy of this fast-growing community.”
A businessman, Chief Folorunso Ezekiel, who is the chairman of TY Table Water, lamented that doing business in the community without electricity has been very difficult.
“If not because I am a native and my love for this community, I would have relocated my company. We are using diesel for production of table water on daily basis. I have 15 people on my payroll. I am operating a legitimate business because I was issued operational certificate by the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
However, I am not finding it easy because of the amount of money I expend daily on diesel to produce water. I can’t say because of that I will sell a sachet of water beyond what it costs where they enjoy power supply. Who will buy it? The government should give us a sense of belonging. We will remain ever grateful to Amosun if he can do this before he hands over to a successor.”
Women and the young are not left out in the suffering experienced in the community because of lack of electricity power supply.
A woman leader, Mrs. Akinbobolu observed that “lack of electricity has led to serious economic hardship. Our children cannot do their homework except you buy fuel power generating set. “Tailors are jobless because there is no light. The hairdressers are now jobless. Those selling pure water go to other communities to buy ice block. The people sleep early because of lack of light. The government should provide us with light.”
Source: The Nation