By Godwin Oghre
Sapele—As the blackout in Sapele, Delta State, enters its sixth day, despite several peaceful protests by the residents, thousands of protesters, yesterday, vowed that they will switch off the Sapele Power Station and the power generating National Independent Power Project, NIPP, a few days from now, as a measure to press home their demand on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, for improved power supply, adding that they will neither retreat nor stop the wave of protests in the town.
Speaking through their leader and priest of St. Patricks Catholic Church, Sapele, Rev. Fr. Christopher Ekabo, the people said: “There is no going back on our demand for improved power supply. We will give BEDC the last chance with just one last protest coming up in few days when we shall proceed to switch off the step-down power station and the power generating National Independent Power Project, NIPP, station. Everybody, including the Federal Government, Nigerians will feel the effect of our protest.”
They spoke against the backdrop of BEDC’s failure to supply electricity to the area, despite what was acclaimed as one of the most massive peaceful protests in the history of Delta State, which took place in Sapele last weekend, over what the people described as “the severest and most wicked epileptic power supply in the country.”
Rev. Fr. Ekabo said: “We will switch the Sapele Power Station and the NIPP station off in a few days time as a deterrent measure to BEDC and for the Federal Government to hear us.
“It is a sin on the part of BEDC not to give us electricity when we generate power. It has even disobeyed the resolution reached at a meeting of stakeholders brokered on Tuesday by the state government and chaired by the state Commissioner of Police, at which BEDC was told to supply eight hours of electrcity per day to the people.”
“Sapele is generating electricity and we cannot be in darkness. When we switch off the generating plant, the whole world will know that we have exhausted all peaceful means before taken that step and even the Federal Government will feel the impact.”