…Gives BEDC 7Days ultimatum to restore power back to Sapele
Residents of Sapele, in Delta state today staged a peaceful protest to the office of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, in Sapele warning that power outage and outrageous billing will no longer be tolerated.
The protesters numbering over 5,000 carrying placards with inscriptions such as‘BEDC must go’ ‘Sapele need line 33 too’, ‘No light, no payment of Bills’, ‘Disconnect all the leaders from line 33’, and so on vowed that if in a week time if these complains are not attended to, they will be force to return.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, at the gate of the electricity distribution company, the priest of St Patrick Catholic Church, Sapele, Rev. Fr Christopher Ekibo who led the protesters through major streets in the town before convening at BEDC office, ATP, said Sapele indigenes were tired of living in darkness.
The priest who brought along his light bills told BEDC officials that for a long time Sapele has live with the reality of 3 hours electricity supply in a day and sometimes no power supply at all.
He attribute the closure of companies in the town especially Eternit Nigeria Limited that has moved to Enugu to the poor power supply to Sapele adding artisans and SME’s are going through pains to sustain their business and demanded for improvement in power supply.
Others who spoke on behalf of the protesters were Comrade Cyprian Anyanwu who demanded for the immediate supply of prepaid metres and Barr. Mike Egbune who said they will continue to advocate and fight for the people’s right.
Also addressing media men, A chieftain of the APC, Chief Felix Anirah said, Sapele residents were tired of incessant power failure. He called on Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC to listen to the people’s plight “You can see they are angry, only God knows what will happen, if they return” he concluded.
Responding, Mr Adekunle Tayo Head, Corporate Affairs, Benin Electricity Distribution Plc said that the low supply was due to low generation of power to the national grid, that BEDC’s allocation has been 9per cent of whatever is generated nationally from which they now share amongst our 4 coverage states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states.
He said they had overdrawn their allocation for Delta state from 31 to 41percent yet it is not enough to meet the required needs of customers. He however assure that supply to Sapele residents will improve as soon as there is increase in allocation to BEDC from the national grid and beg the protesters to bear with them.
Other notable leaders who were present were Hon. Goodluck Arimitan, Solomon Abeke, representative of the Sapele Local government chairman, Mr Perkins Umukoro and members of the Youths Council of Nigeria.