IBEDC appeals for caution seeks understanding as rain persists
●Community craves end to 10-year suffering
Over 45,000 customers of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) in Ogijo, Sagamu Local Government Area, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states, have lamented load scheding, crazy billing and, in most cases, total blackout, from the utility company.
The customers, led by President, Ogijo Development Association, a group registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr. Kalejaiye AM Mayor, and a community leader, Alhaja Abolore Owolewa, popularly called Alhaja Chicago, who disclosed this to New Telegraph craved an end to 10 years of suffering buoyed by frosty relationship with IBEDC.
Declaring that the experience of all electricity customers on IBEDC network in the town is poor, Kalejaiye maintained that he had, on several occassions, led members of the community on a safeour- soul mission to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in Abuja and Abeokuta.
“Particularly in 2014, we went to NERC forum in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, we have also travelled to Abuja to NERC office to lodge our complain over this sufferings.
As we speak, there is no light and the other areas of the town that are given meager supply are on one-day-on-one-day-off schedule, which, in most cases, will last for two to three hours.
“The cumulative supply in a month for those in that situation is not up to 24 hours, but what do we have at the end of the month? Exorbitant bill. “From the last censor we did, between 35,000 and 50,000 customers in Ogijo are affected by this injustice.”
Asked about efforts being made to reach out to IBEDC, Kalejaiye maintained that representatives of the community have been to Ibadan and to the Sagamu offices of the power utility firm to complain without any result.
“What we have after several meetings with representatives of IBEDC is rationing of electricity supply, crazy billing and maltreatment of people. We are suffering a lot and in the face of this, we are the ones that have suplied over 95 per cent of transformers, cables, poles and other accessories.
“Our demads are that this suffering that is about 10 years now should end. We want every customers placed on pre-paid metering and we want a substation in Ogijo,” he declared. His view was corroborated by Alhaja Abolore Omolewa also known as Chicago.
The Ogijo community has, according to Omolewa, “been suffering this injustice for about ten years now. We have gone to IBEDC to lodge our complaints, all to no avail. “I led a protest as a woman in November 2018 and their manager promised improvement.
We had to go back with more people and more symbols to show we are not happy.
“They came for me from Abuja; they wanted me arrested, but the monarch of the town, the Ologijo of Ogijo land, stood his ground that I won’t be arrested.
Because of this, my house was disconnected from the grid and I was subjected total darkness for one and half years.
At some point, when they saw palpable threat to my life, my children warned me not to get involved again, but what do you do when you still see thousands of helpless people suffering and paying exorbitant and crazy bill for darkness?
Fold your arms? “After all these sufferings, you will be shocked to know that the power supply situation in Ogijo has not improved a bit.
We will be happy if Nigerians come to our aid; this suffering is becoming unbeatable,” she said.
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Plc, however appealed for understanding, noting that the load shedding was caused by generally low supply it received from the grid.
The company also called on its customers and the public to be very cautious around electrical installations within its network, as the rainy season begins to gather momentum.
Its Chief Operating Officer, Mr John Ayodele, said in a statement that the rainy seasons often witness the highest levels of incidents within the electricity distribution sector, because of heavy rainfall, windstorms and floods.
Ayodele, therefore, urged members of the public to be on their guards to avoid falling victims of any accident that could easily occur during the rains.