Residents of Otugbuwa – Mayor Community Development Association (CDA) in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Ikorodu, Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria, has cried out to the public to come to their aid and save them from perpetual darkness.
According to the report gathered, the community has been in total darkness for the past six months with social and economic lives grounded due to the failure of the Ikeja Electric (IE) to honour part of the agreement it had with the community prior to the procurement of the 500KVA transformer.
Residents of the community had, in an attempt to enjoy adequate power supply, wrote to the Ikeja Electric PLC to disconnect them from the source to enable them seek for assistance in procuring another transformer to address the power problem in the area.
It was gathered that the electricity that was being supplied to the community before the request for disconnection was unable to power anything while residents were allegedly being given exorbitant billing by the IE.
The N2million worth of transformer with the Serial No. 583767, was solely purchased by the community from Ramlinks Power Onas situated along the Badagry Expressway and was delivered on Saturday, May 16, 2020.
However, the community alleged that the Ikeja Electric is yet to install the transformer six months after its purchase despite the gentleman agreement it had with the officials of the power company at its Alogba Estate office at Ipakodo, Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu Division.
Due to the current situation, some residents are already alleging deliberate attempt by the IE to stall the installation of the transformer to force the residents to cough out some money.
Speaking with THE IMPACT, Mr Adekunle Osimosu, Chairman of the Otugbuwa- Mayor CDA, said that their ordeal started in 2016 when they discovered that they were being supplied low voltage which could not power anything.
“It actually started in 2016 when we realised that the point at which our community was connected to the power was very far away and it was adversely affecting the power supply. It was several poles away”, he said.
“We noticed that we were having low light in the same year which ccould not even power our phones.
“The community then decided to approach the Alogba Estate office of the Ikeja Electric PLC, where we met with one Mr Okoye who told us point blank that there is nothing Ikeja Electric can do to help us”, Mr Osimosu said.
He said that the community resolved to buy another transformer to relief the old one which was serving several communities after they approached Ikeja Electric again and were told for the second time that they cannot do anything about their case.
“We decided to buy another transformer in 2018 after we approached Ikeja Electric PLC again and they told us same thing. At that point, we decided that another transformer would resolve the situation”, he told our reporter.
The CDA Chairman said that they asked the company to disconnect the community from its source as electricity bills were still being given to residents who could not make use of the power being supplied to do anything.
“Despite all these challenges that we were facing then, coupled with the company’s insistence that it cannot help us, we realised that they were still bringing huge monthly bills that we did not use. At that point, we told them to disconnect us”, he stated.
He stated further that the community had agreement with the Ikeja Electric PLC that they would procure a transformer while the company will do the installation but that the company has failed to keep to it’s part of the agreement since the transformer has been procured.
”Last year, we approached the Ikeja Electric PLC again and they told us that they will partner with us by asking us to buy the transformer while the company will do the installation for us”, he said.
“But unfortunately, since we bought the transformer , the officials of Ikeja Electric have only dug a hole for the installation of the cable and each time we call them, they always told us that, ‘work is in progress”, the CDA Chairman said.
The community leader, who said that many residents that have generator sets have been unable to power them again due to the high cost they have been incurring, told our reporter that robbers have been disturbing the community under the cover of darkness.
He, however, thanked the Representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Hon. Babajimi Benson, for his intervention, while also appealing to the appropriate quarters and the general public to come to their aid.
It was also gathered that the community has also contacted the Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA for assistance but has not got any response yet.
According to Mr Idris Adeshina, a resident of the area and a former President, Igbogbo Students’ Union (ISU), who protested the plight of the community on THE IMPACT WhatsApp platform, said that residents of Otugbuwa celebrated the Sallah festival with mixed feelings.
He appealed to the public to assist the community on the installation of the 500KVA transformer and save them from further darkness.
“While the Eid- Kabir celebration was trending all over the world today (July31), the festival celebration is being celebrated with mixed-feelings in every home in Otugbuwa-Mayor Community in Igbogbo/Baiyeku LCDA in Ikorodu division of Lagos State”,he lamented.
He said that the old transformer serving the residents has become obsolete and cannot fully serve the three communities which necessitated the need to buy a new one but which they have been unable to install.
Idris, while stating that the residents of the Otugbuwa community have been in darkness for 180 days, appealed to members of the public to assist them in begging the Ikeja Electric PLC to install the transformer they procured since May.
“The entire residents of this Community are, hereby, calling and begging well meaning Nigerians to kindly help us appeal, as a follow-up to all our letters, to the management of Ikeja Electric PLC to come to our aid by installing the newly procured transformer which is lying lifelessly in the community”, he pleaded.
He stated that their children have been denied the opportunity of benefiting from the various educative programmes being organized by the Lagos State government on Television and radio for students who have been at home due to COVID – 19 pandemic.
“We celebrated all the festivals in the year in total blackout, but lives and future of our children should be considered as many parents could not afford to fuel their generators for their child (ren) to be able to access all the Television and Radio classes being organised by the Lagos State Government due to the global pandemic of Covid-19”, he lamented.
“We remain calm, hopeful and adamant disciples of the ‘Next Level’ and ‘Greater Lagos’ agenda of President Muhammed Buhari and Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu respectively”, he said.
“Thank you as we urge you to share until this message gets to the top hierarchy in the Ministry of Power in Nigeria”.
Another resident, Mrs Adebayo, a civil servant, described the IE’s action as a deliberate attempt to keep residents in darkness.
She alleged that officials of the electricity company are holding the community to ransom to force them to pay them before they can fulfill their gentleman agreement.
Meanwhile, Builder Sesan Daini, the Chairman of Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA told THE IMPACT that the council is looking into the matter and assured of positive result.
“We are discussing with appropriate agencies concerned and expecting result”, the Council Chairman said in a chat.
However, when called on phone, Mr Wole Oyeleye, the Ikorodu Business Manager of the Ikeja Electric PLC, directed our reporter to call the Corporate Affairs Manager of the company at Alausa, Ikeja because he is not permitted to talk to the press on the company’s matter.
However, at the time of publishing this report, Mr Felix Ofulue, Head Corporate Communication of the Ikeja Electric PLC, has not responded to an email message sent to his mailbox on the matter.