Edo Community Protests Prolonged Blackout

edo protest...

By Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

Residents of Iwogban community in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of Edo State on Tuesday staged a mass protest over a power blackout that has affected the community for over five months.

The protesters, who converged peacefully at the head office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, carried placards of different inscriptions expressing their anger.

The protesters were mainly artisans and owners of small scale businesses who depend on electricity for the survival of their businesses.

They claimed the power outage had negatively affected their businesses while it lasted and demanded for the immediate restoration of power to the community.

Spokesperson for the group, Joy Imuetiyan, explained that residents of the community made a collective donation of N150, 000 to the electricity company to fix the transformer servicing the area after officials of the company blamed a faulty transformer for the epileptic power supply to the area.

She said despite this, they did not get their monies’ worth.

“After paying the N150, 000 sometime last year, they took the transformer away and brought it back after a week, with an assurance that all was now well with the facility. We were however taken aback when the transformer exploded weeks after the company supposedly fixed it,” she said.



    She said all diplomatic channels used to resolve the challenge had failed hence their resolve to protest at the company’s premises.

    It was gathered that the BEDC claimed that power would only be restored when some electricity consumers in the neighborhood paid off their debts.

    An official of the power company later addressed the protesters, promising that their grievances would be addressed.

    Attempts to reach the spokesman for the company, Curtis Nwandei, for comments were unsuccessful as he was said to be outside the state on official assignment.

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