No fewer than thirty communities in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital on Monday staged a peaceful protest over power blackout being experienced in the affected communities over the last six months.
The last time the communities were supplied with electricity, the protesters say, was on November 20, 2018.
As early as 7:00am Monday, scores of members of the affected communities besieged the Oloje office of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDEC) located in front of Oloriegbe compound, preventing officials of the company from opening for business.
The protesters decried the continued operation of the company in their communities with nothing to show for it in terms of service delivery and regular power supply
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, insisted that the company quit the office in the area or immediately restore power to the Oloje feeder which serve their communities.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: ‘We are tired of blackout for 6 months,’ ‘Oloje and Pakata Feeders are in blackout for 6 month,’ ‘Find solution to our problem’.
Others are ‘Six months total blackout is Enough,’ ‘IBEDEC vacate our communities,’ ‘Oloje and Pakata Feeders,’ ‘Enough is enough’.
They said all efforts and series of meetings held with the management of the IBEDEC at Baboko Business office and Ibadan office of the company have not yielded results.
A soft drink seller who ran into to the protest midway and spoke with Daily Sun, lamented that the situation had crippled economic activities of many people, especially petty readers in the affected communities.
“Everyday we have to go extra miles to get iceblock, which is not profitable to us. We are getting frustrated,” she said.
The affected commuties are Alore, Oloje, Ita-merin, Banni,Abayawo, Gunniyan, Anifowose,Pakata, Alfa-Yahaya, Oke-Agodi, Agbarigidoma,Gaa Oke-Idi emi, Ogidi, Temidire,
Others are Abemi, Adeta, Aiyekale, Ifesowapo, Sakele, Olomoda, Albarika, Iberuoluwa, Ajegunle, Gaa-Osibi,Ifedayo, among others.
When contracted, an official of IBEDEC in Ilorin said efforts were on to solve the problem.
The source, who did not wish to be mentioned in print because he does not have the mandate to speak with the press, said the management of the company had held a meeting with representatives of the communities where they briefed them on the level of progress made so far.
The source said the company had taken delivery of equipment to be installed to restore power to the affected areas.
“We even invited some of them to see the equipment that is waiting to be installed,” he said, “We are surprised to hear that they are protesting this morning.
“We want to appeal to them to be patient as work is already ongoing to fix the faulty equipment. I is not something that can be done in a hurry. It requires some technical and administrative procedures which we want them to please understand,”, the source told newsmen.