By DEMOLA AKINYEMI
Thirty communities in Ilorin, Kwara state capital Monday morning staged a peaceful protest over total blackout being experienced in the affected communities over the last six months.
They said the last time they were supplied power by Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDEC in the affected communities was on November 20, 2018.
As early as 7: am, scores of members of the affected communities besieged the Oloje undertaking office of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC,) located in front of Oloriegbe compound, preventing officials of the company from opening for business of the day.
Traffic was temporarily disrupted in the area as a result of the protest by the aggrieved members of the communities.
The protesters who carried placards with various inscriptions insisted that the company must quit the office in the area or immediately restore power to the Oloje feeder which serves the entire communities.
Some of the inscriptions on the inscriptions on the placards read “We are tired of blackout for 6 months”,Oloje and Pakata Feeders are in blackout out for 6 months,” Find a solution to our problem’,;
Others are “Six months total blackout is Enough”, “IBEDEC vacate our communities” ,Oloje and Pakata Feeders”, Enough is enough”.
Spokesman of the protesters Moshood Abdulkadir decried the continued operation of the company in the areas without anything to show for the communities in terms of service delivery and regular supply of power.
He lamented the continued sufferings of residents of the affected communities when other communities in the state capital are enjoying power supply, a development he described as no longer unacceptable.
Abdulkadir said they decided to protest when the sufferings were no more bearable saying that enough is enough.
They said all efforts and series of meetings held with the management of the IBEDEC at Baboko Business office and Ibadan office of the company have not yielded any results.
A soft drink seller who ran into the protest midway and spoke with our correspondent lamented that the situation had crippled economic activities of many people especially the Petty readers in the affected communities.
She said, “Everyday we have to go extra miles to get ice- block which is not profitable to us. We are getting frustrated”, she said.
The affected communities are Alore, Oloje, Ita- merin, Banni,Abayawo, Gunniyan, Anifowose,Pakata, Alfa -Yahaya, Oke-Agodi, Agbarigidoma,Gaa Oke-Idi emi, Ogidi, Temidire,
Others are Abemi, Adeta, Aiyekale, Ifesowapo, Sakele, Olomoda, Albarika, Iberuoluwa, Ajegunle, Gaa -Osibi,Ifedayo, among others.
When contracted, an official of IBEDEC in, Ilorin, said efforts were on top gear to solve the problem.
The source who does not want to be mentioned in print because he does not have the mandate to speak with the press, said, the management of the company has held a meeting with representatives of the communities where they briefed them on the level of progress made so far.
The source said the company had taken delivery of the equipment to be installed to restore power to the affected areas.
“We even invited some of them to see the equipment that is waiting to be installed, we are surprised to hear that they are protesting this morning.
“We want to appeal to them to be patient as work is already ongoing to fix the faulty equipment. Is not something that can be done in a hurry, it requires some technical and administrative procedures which we want them to please understand”, the source said..