Members of the Parliament Estate Residents Association in Akure, the Ondo State capital have issued two weeks ultimatum to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to energise a newly acquired transformer in their locality or face massive protest.
The residents who carried placards to protest in Akure said the BEDC was provoking them to storm its headquarters in Benin City, the Edo State capital and shut it down.
They protested through the estate and some streets in Akure. Speaking during the protest, Chairman of the Parliament Estate, Titus Falana said they contributed money to buy the transformer in 2019, and all efforts to get the BEDC to power it has failed.
Falana stated that the BEDC forced them to submit original receipt of the purchase of the transformer and made them write a letter of willingness to donate the transformer to the power firm as a condition to connect the transformer to the national grid.
He said the entire landlords would storm Benin City to disrupt activities at the BEDC headquarters if the transformer is not powered.
He said: “We bought poles, cables, and all necessary things. We have made every arrangement but they are saying some people here are owing. They should migrate the debtors to the metering arrangements so that they can pay little by little. We will carry out a bigger protest to Benin, the BEDC headquarters. It is terrible that we spent N10m to buy transformer and others facilities and nothing has happened.”
“A bigger protest is coming that will embarrass them if they do not energise this transformer within two weeks. They did not contribute any money to the project. For over two years they have not done anything here even though we contributed our money. We are appealing to the government to ensure this transformer is connected.”
But a spokesman for the BEDC in Akure, Mike Barnabas, said the protesters paid N600, 000 electricity bill out of over the N1m debt owed.
Barnabas added the transformer would be energised immediately the debt is paid.