Residents of Ijegun-Imore, a Satellite Town in Lagos, on Monday blocked the main entrance of the Festac Business Unit of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, protesting over eight months of power outage in their areas.
The protesters, who stormed the EKEDC office in their hundreds, also prevented officials of the company and electricity consumers from entering the premises.
While chanting various solidarity songs, they carried placards with different inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions were: “Privatisation of EKEDC is a Scam; Our businesses are dying; Government should come to our rescue; Give us prepaid meters; We are tired of estimated billings”.
Ikechukwu Osuchukwu, the Chairman, New Site Estate Landlords/Residents Association, who led the protesters, told the News Agency of Nigeria Correspondent who witnessed the protest that the community had been in darkness since August.
Osuchukwu said: “The New Site Estate, Ijegun-Imore, Satellite Town, had been on load shedding since 2013 with outrageous bills still coming from Eko Disco until the community transformer got burnt in August.
“Before it got burnt, the local government chairman in the area gave the community a brand new 500KVA transformer.
“We wrote the management of EKEDC to install the new transformer to relief the old one, but they did not come until it exploded.
“After the first protest late December, the official came to the community and promised to repair and install the transformers.
“Since then, the technical team installing the transformers has been complaining of lack of materials to complete the work.
“Even, when we offered to assist them, they said no and they had since left the site two week ago without doing anything.”
Kamorudeen Akorede, the Chairman, Electricity Committee of New Site Estate, told NAN that the protesters would not allow the EKDC officials to enter their offices until they restored electricity to the areas.
Akorede said that the affected areas were: David West/ East Street, Ogbodu Street, Oguga Street, Eluneko Street, Ezema Street, Olanrewaju Street, Omoja Street and Dominie Street.
He said that the residents also want the EKEDC to install prepaid meters in every home in the community.
In his comments, Prince Zubby Anazodo, one of the protesters, told NAN that businesses that depend on electricity had been crippled due to the power outage.
Anazodo said: “Those into frozen foods business and welders in the area are no longer in business.
“We cannot sleep in the night because of the heat and mosquitoes bite we are suffering.
“The sound of different generating set also constituted nuisance in the area.
“The hoodlums are now taking advantage of the outage to rob innocent residents; please help us, enough is enough.”
Addressing the protesters, asiu Jimoh, the Business Manager, EKEDC, Festac Business Unit, appealed to the protesters to be calmed and patient.
Jimoh said: “I have given instructions that the faulty transformer should be repaired and electricity restored to the areas within a week, but it was delayed due to bureaucracy.
“As I speak, the technical crews are collecting materials to fix the two transformers.
“I am assuring you that before the end of this week, electricity supply will be restored to your community.
“The two transformers will be installed, work has been completed on those equipment.
“Other issues like prepaid meters and billings will be resolved one after the other,”