Situation will Be Resolved Soon – IBEDC
By Shina Abubakar
Crisis is imminent in some communities of Olorunda Local Government of the State of Osun as youths in the areas have vowed to embark on a massive protest against the perpetual blackout affecting the communities which has lasted over 48 days. OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the communities affected include Orita-sabo, Oke-Ayo, Sabo, Iludun, Testing Ground, Aderin, Plantation and some parts of Alie.
It was gathered that the 11KVA cables that transmit power from the substations to the transformers in the affected communities have expired and need to be changed completely as it has on various occasions fallen on commercial motorcyclists, motorists and passers-by. However, to avoid such unfortunate incidents, the officials of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) met with the communities on the need to change the cables and offered them alternatives of enjoying power supply 15 days in a month. But the youths of the communities disagreed with the arrangement and sought to have the cables changed and put the communities in blackout pending the repair work.
Unfortunately, the process was not as fast as the youth thought it would be and hence, sought for a change in plan, forcing the distribution company to fast-track the process and restore power supply or face protest in all the communities affected by the situation. The spokesperson of IBEDC, Mrs Kikelomo Owoeye told the medium that the present situation was a creation of the youths of the affected communities, saying as officials of the company, they have given them the option that would work for the communities and the company but they turned it down and opted for a total blackout.
She added that as an official of IBEDC, the thought of 15 days power supply was to allow the contract process come around while they enjoy power in limited supply so as to avoid cable snap and risk of lives and damage of people’s property. However, this seems not to work well with the youths who want power supply within the shortest possible time and mobilised others towards executing protest to IBEDC office in the town but it took the intervention of leaders of the communities to stop them from going on rampage.
According to Mr. Joel Abayomi (Niger Car Wash), the elders discovered some weapons with some of the youth and had to cajole them to desist from the protest and allow them resolve the matter amicably with the IBEDC officials. A resident of Sabo Community, Mr. Popo Gomna disclosed that the situation is very bad for the business of shop owners, maintaining that if the situation persists, it could lead to mass protest in the state capital.
Meanwhile, the Baale of Orita Sabo/Oke-Ayo communities, Alhaji Gazali Owolabi lamented the situation of power supply in the communities describing it as very unfortunate and unbearable. He disclosed that for the first time in his life, the youth disrespect him and even threaten him physically over the issue of power outage.
According to him, “The youth of this community rebelled against us and organised a meeting that they thought could be a solution to the problem”. The Baale cried to the governor of the State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola intervenes on the problem before it is too late. But Owoeye said the problem has been communicated to the head office in Ibadan and response has been received and it would take only weeks to resolve the situation. She added the affected communities should bear with the company, saying they would soon begin to see contractors on site to start work. She further assured them that no one would charge them for the period during which power supply was not available.