By Abdulrofiu Agboola
Members of the Staff of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Ijebu Ijesa’s office were on Tuesday prevented from entering into their office as the residents of the community evolved sacrifice to protest against protracted one year black out.
Sighting the fetish prepared in a big black pot in front of the office, the IBDC staffers who appeared scary over the frightened strange sacrifice took to their heels.
CityMirrorNews reports that hundreds of residents of Ijebu Ijesa, the headquarters of Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State guarded by security operatives had earlier trooped out to protest against alleged insensitivity of the management of the company to their plight.
The protesters in a convoy of vehicles, motorcycles and other road transport means marched through the major streets of the town to demonstrate their displeasure over the matter.
The protesting communals armed with placards of various inscriptions chanted revolutionary and anti-IBEDC\’s songs.
Some of the inscriptions read; “IBEDC RESTORE OUR LIGHT” ; “365 days Today without light at Oke-Eruru, Odogo, Odo-Ese\’.
Speaking with Journalists, one of the community leaders, Venerable Julius Fatokun of Ijesa North Anglican Diocese, Ijebu-Ijesa said, “we started experiencing epileptic power supply sometimes in 2015 to early part of 2016 before it later became total black out from August 2016 and we have since then remained in darkness.
Fatokun added that “all efforts to get the electricity restored proved abortive. Even when the community took it upon itself to see whether they can facilitate repair to the damaged transformer to bring some succor, we couldn’t still have our ways due to logistic and bottle necked of the IBEDC.
On efforts made to get light for the community on the part of the leaders, Venerable Fatokun said, “we have done a lot, we have waited for them for so long but when we waited for long without any fruitful outcome, then we went to sought for their permission to go and undertake repairs on the damaged transformer since they told us that
there is no transformer anywhere.
“So we agreed in confidence to repair the damaged one, which we did. After the first effort failed, we came to IBEDC in Ijebu Ijesa and they recommended another contractor whom they said repaired that of Kajola in Ilesa which is still working till date.
“We paid six hundred thousand naira (N600,000) to the contractor and up till today they have been dribbling us. So, we came back to our community and had a meeting to know the next step to take thinking of who can help us. We have engaged people to talk to our political
office holders but no response till date.
He added that, “the IBDEC later cut off our lights, restore light to some areas like Oba’s palace, filling stations where they can generate more money. We are making efforts tirelessly to get our lights restored but all to no avail.
“We went to Oba in council to complain and the council gave us Chief Inurin, who went with us to Ibadan IBDEC
to lodge our complaint but later discovered that no complaint was lodged by IBEDC, Ijebu Ijesa to their office in Ibadan and they kept raising our hope.
“We have been to the Regional Headquarters in Osogbo where we found out that IBEDC Ijebu Ijesa lodged complaint but nothing has been done on it. The resort to generate over six million naira (N6000,000) monthly has made IBDEC to cut about four communities off and concentrated their efforts on the few where they double their tariffs.
“We are calling on our representatives such as Senator Babajide Omoworare, Hon. Oluwole Oke, Hon. Israel Aloba and other well meaning Nigerians to come to our aid in Ijebu Ijesa so that we can get out of darkness and receive light.”
Reacting in a telephone interview, Kikelomo Owoeye, spokesperson for IBEDC State enjoyed the community to exercise patience and restraint saying their request is on the front burner of the organization.
She disclosed that the organization doesn’t have transformers now but they are treating their requests as several communities are making their requests to them.
Owoeye expressed fear and concern for their staffs that ran away from office in Ijebu IOjesa when the protesters were on their way as she said that violence might arise from the protest.
On the issue of over one million naira (N1000,000) allegedly spent by the community on repairs of transformer through Mr. Babajide Olore,
IBEDC undertaking Manager in Ijebu Ijesa, Mrs Owoeye said that the organization is not in any way involved in collecting money from clients.
She added that series of meetings had been held with the monarch and different stakeholders in getting solution to the crisis.
The IBEDC’s spokesperson therefore urged the people of Ijebu Ijesa to exercise patience, saying the company is working towards ensuring that the electricity is restored back to affected area”.