Residents of Shomolu in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State have criticised the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) for what they described as illegal disconnection of electricity at the community’s General Hospital.
According to them, the action has created difficulty not only for patients but also other members of the community. In a letter of complaint addressed to the electricity company and copies sent to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the state House of Assembly and the Local Government, the community berated the company for charging the hospital arbitrary fees.
The letter was written by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Human Rights Monitoring Agenda (HURMA). The letter, signed by HURMA National Coordinator, Comrade Buna Isiak, noted that investigation had revealed that the hospital management was never officially notified, but simply overheard that disconnection was ongoing on the street.
The letter reads in part: “Despite the direct intervention of the Medical Director, Dr. Fatai Ishola, who alongside other management staff pleaded that the hospital will clear some of the heavy bills imposed on it the following day, the disconnection was done, living the hospital in darkness for days.
“The above attitude of the EKDC workers is, however, not in line with the NERC (National Electricity Regulatory Commission) provision which states that: ‘It is the right of each customer to be notified in writing ahead of disconnection of electricity service, by the Electricity Distribution Company serving the customer in line with NERC guidelines.”
The group added that it found the alleged habit of the EKDC staff as highly uncivilised. It added: “It is disheartening to discover that by the time the disconnection was made, there were babies in incubators at the hospital and as well as other patients on life support. We hereby, for the purpose of democratic social justice and prevention of crisis that may possibly arise from such attitude, demand that the matter be promptly investigated and culprits sanctioned.”