…As Gov. Akeredolu meets affected communities
With the scheduled town hall meeting by Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, with the people of the southern senatorial district area of the state expected to come up today, a group known as the “Bring Back Our Light has described as deceptive the tactics by the governor to cajole the people of the area ahead of 2019 general election.
The meeting which was called at the instance of the governor was gathered that its talking point will no doubt centre on the continuous power outage in the four of the six local government making up the senatorial district which have been in total black in the last ten years.
Admonishing the people of the affected communities to beware of the sudden “Greek gift”, the coordinator of Bring Back Our Light, BBOL, Mr. Olumide Akinrinlola, in a statement issued and signed by him, passed a vote of no confidence on Governor Akeredolu, describing his government as that of deceit which lacked sincerity.
Akinrinlola, who welcomed the development, maintained that the sudden meeting by the governor should be given a second thought, particularly that election is around the corner, and added that the governor had earlier promised the people that electricity would restored within three months of his administration.
“As much as we appreciate this new development, we are using this medium to put our people on alert and to also advise them to put on their thinking cap and not play the gullible in the course of this meeting, most especially now that another election has come.
The group also urged the people to stick by the resolution of the affected communities of boycotting the coming election until electricity is restored to the four affected local government areas (Okitipupa, Ilaje, Irele and Ese-Odo Local Governments).
They also maintained that the governor before now should have made a strong statement against the activities of the Benin Electricity Distributing Company, BEDC, which has adversely affected the development of his people by joining the voice calling for the revocation of the company’s licence by the Federal Government.
“The government of Akeredolu should join our people and his counterpart in Edo State, Governor Obaseki, by adding his voice to the call for the revocation or stoppage of the renewal of BEDC operating licence which falls due this month.
“That our planned peaceful Mega protest which has been scheduled to hold at Omotosho Power Plant will hold as planned, to show our grievances and to expose all the atrocities of BEDC and the failure of the management of Omotosho Power Plant to obey the Local Content agreement to the president of this country,” the group added.
Meanwhile, the state government in a statement on Sunday, emphasied that the town hall meeting became imperative to find a lasting solution in restoring electricity to the affected areas in the southern senatorial district.
The state government said restoring electricity in the area has been a major concern of the present Akeredolu-led administration in the state since its assumption of office.
“Mr Governor is clearheaded about the fact that the wealth of the state is in the belly of the Southern District and therefore can’t allow the people to live in darkness.
“Akeredolu in his determination and commitment to restore electricity back to the areas will on Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 meet with the people of Ese-Odo, Ilaje, Irele and Okitipupa Local Government Areas at the Williams’ Place Igbokoda by 11:am and Idepe Town Hall, Okitipupa by 1:00 pm respectively.”
Ranging from 5 to 10 years of total blackout in the affected local governments, the socio-economic activities of the people has been in the lowest ebb.
However, it was gathered that the BEDC has always maintained that outstanding debts incurred during the days of National Electricity Power Authority, NEPA, and the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria, PHCN, are fully paid by the people of southern senatorial district before electricity is restored.
It would recalled that some days ago, the Ondo State Council of Obas had passed a vote of no confidence on the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for poor service delivery and failure to distribute pre-paid metres to residents of the state.
The traditional rulers said years of inefficient and erratic power supply by BEDC to the people of Ondo north and Ondo central senatorial districts, and total blackout in Ondo south district have negatively affected social, cultural and economic activities of the people.