Protesters demand intervention in Osun blackout

By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo

Six communities in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun State, have cried out to the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola and the management of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) over blackout in the communities for the past four months.

The communities affected include, Ipetumodu, Edunabon, Moro, Yakooyo, Asipa and Akinlalu.

According to the communities, they have been living in darkness in the last four months, adding that their complaints and lamentations to the State Government and IBEDC have been ignored.

Addressing a press conference in Ipetumodu on Thursday, the leaders of Ife-North Progressive Union, Sunday Oyebowale, Amos Adeniran, Femi Ojedele, Adewale Oyebowale, Rauf Oladunjoye, and Femi Odelana, lamented the effect of the lack of electricity adding that it has encouraged insecurity, theft and economic paralysis.

It was gathered that a transformer, 7.5MVA Substation at Moro, that supplies electricity to the communities had developed fault as a result of overloading.

Speaking on behalf of the communities, President of Ipetumodu, Sunday Oyebowale, said the substation is grossly inadequate and requires a total upgrading and overhauling.

He said, “It is very sad and very disheartening to note that Ife-North Local Government have been experiencing total blackout four months ago and nothing has been done by the IBEDC to alleviate our problem.

“The total blackout has been encouraging kidnapping of people, as we know that when there is no light, any bad act is easy to perpetrate. Non supply of electricity has encouraged theft in the communities. At Asipa community, a shop was looted by thieves who took advantage of the darkness. This same problem had been reported in many areas in the local government.

“Our economic activities have been paralysed as people using electricity to do their daily works find it very difficult to transact their businesses and this need urgent attention so that the society will not become desolate. Ife-North has been known for peace but this absence of light has made it to be a lawless society where different people just come into the Local Government unchallenged at night. Our System Government and the IBEDC must make sure that positive step is taken before things go out of hands.

“People who deal in frozen food are suffering because there is no electricity to freeze their food and many of them have turned to debtors due to the damage of their wares like fish, turkey and meat of all kinds. Artisans like welders, hair dressers, electricians and all sorts of trades are suffering because if lack of electricity supply.

“We have written several letters to the State Governor and the IBEDC, even to their main office in Ibadan but nothing has been done. We are imploring people in authority and Nigerian Government to stand up and assist us so that we won’t continue to suffer,” he said.

Meanwhile, students of tertiary institutions and secondary schools, came out with banners of various inscriptions such as “Governor Oyetola, Come To Our Aid,” “IBEDC is Paralysing Our Economy in Ife North,” “We Say No To Darkness,” “IBEDC, Bring Back Our Light,” among others.

The students, led by Aduragbemi Ogunlola, urged the IBEDC to take urgent steps at restoring the electricity before it lead to mass mobilization for protest.

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