Residents of Ijebu-Jesa, the headquarters of the Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, on Tuesday trooped out to protest against the power outage in some parts of the community for one year.
Armed with placards with various inscriptions, the residents stormed the office of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company in the town to register their complaints.
Some protesters also carried ritual materials in a clay pot, which they placed at the entrance of the IBEDC’s office. It was learnt that the officials of the company fled on hearing that the protesters were coming to the office.
The protesters said life had become difficult for them as a result of the prolonged outage, adding that businesses had collapsed and social activities paralysed.
One of the members of the affected community, Venerable Julius Fakunle of Ijesa-North Anglican Diocese, Ijebu-Jesa, said residents started experiencing poor supply of electricity from 2015, adding that the situation degenerated into a total blackout in August 2016.
Although the venerable did not follow the protesters to the IBEDC office, he said residents decided to register their displeasure because the company was not doing enough to address the problem.
He said, “We arranged to repair the damaged transformer. After the first effort failed, we came to the IBEDC office in Ijebu-Jesa and they recommended another contractor whom they said repaired a transformer in Kajola, which is still working.
“We paid N600,000 to the contractor and up till now, they have been deceiving us. So, we came back to our community and had a meeting to know the next step to take. We have engaged people to talk to our political office holders, but no response till date.
“The IBEDC later disconnected us and restored electricity to some areas such as Oba’s Palace and filling stations where they can generate more money.
“We went to the Oba-in-Council to complain and the council gave us a chief, who went with us to the IBEDC to lodge our complaints.
“We later discovered that no complaint was lodged by the IBEDC, Ijebu-Jesa, to their office in Ibadan (Oyo State) and they kept raising our hope.”
The spokesperson for the IBEDC, Kikelomo Owoeye, told PUNCH Metro that the company was working to address the problem, urging the residents to exercise more patience.
She said, “There are 18 transformers in Ijebu-Jesa and just one of them is faulty. We have held meetings with the residents and they took a letter to our office in Ibadan on the issue.
“Their issue is on the front burner and the transformer will be replaced anytime we have a new one. But we will appeal to them not to assault our officials because that will not solve the issue at hand.”