While many Nigerians commended the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for improved electricity supply they enjoyed throughout the festive period, it was not the same for members of Ogijo community in Ogun State, a border town between Ogun and Lagos states.
Aggrieved members of the community alleged that Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) deliberately disconnected their supply at Shagamu Station, which left the area in darkness for some months and throughout the yuletide.
It was gathered that one of the reasons for the disconnection was a protest community members staged to the Ogijo office of IBEDC over poor power supply over the years despite the exorbitant bill they pay monthly.
While they appealed to Buhari and the Minister for Power, Housing and Works, Babatunde Fashola, to urgently intervene to restore power, they also claimed that the situation is making life difficult as well as paralyzing their businesses. They stressed: “Criminals are now taking advantage of the permanent darkness to foment trouble in our areas.”
Although, there are several versions of the stories why the distribution company ‘deliberately’ denied the community electricity supply in the last few months. Some claimed that the situation may have been due to the ongoing construction of Ikorodu-Ogijo-Mosinmi-Shimawa and Shagamu Expressway, as some electricity poles have been removed due to the ongoing road construction but other residents dismissed the explanation.
Another version of the story is that some elderly women sometimes ago went half-naked to the office to complain they could no longer accept a situation where there is uninterrupted power supply in Ikorodu and Ita-Oluwo, neighbouring communities while Ogijo is kept in perpetual darkness. The matter later degenerated to a point that a worker of IBEDC was beaten to a point of coma last year. This made other workers abandon the office.
Also, there have been allegations and counter allegations against IBEDC that they were collaborating with some manufacturing firms sited in the area to deprive the community of supply. Residents claim the supply meant for the community is oftentimes diverted to the manufacturing companies.
However, a senior official of IBEDC, Mr. John Ayodele, denied the accusation that the company deliberately disconnected Ogijo’s supply. He said the people are too aggressive and not helping their cause. According to him, “Our staff had to run for their lives when the angry mob attacked them, beat up one of them to the point of coma and also placed ritual in front of the office.”
On the way forward, Ayodele said he has no solution pending when the people will have a change of attitude and desist from attacking their officials.