The Management of BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has commended Illah Community in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State for its role in the arrest of electricity vandals stressing the rising cases of vandalism across its franchise areas which it says aside being an economic crime is an act of sabotage against the good purpose and intents of the company. The management said, the power sector has been the most hit in the most devastating manner and the effect of vandalism cannot be over emphasized as residential customers, industries, small and medium scale businesses are being starved of power as a result of the activities of vandals.
It will be recalled that the anti-cult group of illah community had assisted BEDC in apprehending vandals who vandalized transformers in the community.
Present at appreciation ceremony organized to honour the members of the anti-cult group who caught the vandals and handed them over to the police for prosecution at the Ogbeleani Palace are BEDC Management team led by the Head, Community Relations, Mr. Simple Ugherakpoteni and members of the Asaba business unit technical team while the community was represented by His Royal Majesty, Obi Sylvester Jugai, the Ogbelani of Illah, Chairman Illah Electricity Committee, Ogbuenyi (Chief) George Ofuokwu, the Odogwu of Illah, Secretary to Ogbelani and Illah Electricity Committee, Eddy Ojidoh , members of the anti-cult group and community youth leaders
Mr. Simple Ugherakpoteni, who spoke on behalf of MD/CEO, Mrs. Funke Osibodu commended the community for its vigilance over BEDC network, saying vandalism of electricity distribution network and other forms of electrical thefts are serious threats to power sector sustainability and economic growth, insisting that increasing vandalism will force the company to spend money meant to improve electricity infrastructure to repair or replace damaged and stolen installations. “the fight against electricity vandals is a collective responsibility that can only be sustained through collective effort and increased partnership.” he said.
The Head, Community Relations while appreciating the effort of Illah Community, presented a life insurance policy for 5 members of the anti-cult group and cartons of energy saving bulbs saying it will help them pay less for power usage and also enjoined other communities to emulate and take ownership of BEDC assets in their various localities, “since they are the direct users of these facilities.”
The Ogbelani of Illah, HRM, Obi Sylvester Jugai thanked the management of BEDC for its gesture and reiterated the community’s commitment in ensuring the electricity facilities and equipment are well secured and protected to avoid being thrown into blackout, insisting on improved community and neighbourhood relations with BEDC staff in order to collectively fight against electricity vandals.
Efforts by BEDC at curbing the menace of vandalism on its network will be recalled, received a boost with the sentencing of one David James to three years imprisonment by a Benin Magistrate Court 6 in Egor Local Government area of Edo state recently.
BEDC also reported case of high-tension cable conductor vandalism at Esaba, Otutuaima, Oghangbla and Iuhre-Ogun communities in Ughelli South Local Government area of Delta State. The suspects; Messrs. John Moses, Bako Michel, and Azikewe Festus in these communities were said to have vandalized 65 poles of high tension cable conductors in June this year. They were reportedly charged to Ogwuashi-Uku Magistrate Court on and remanded at Ogwuashi-Uku Correctional Center Ogwuashi-Uku.