Right groups under the aegis of Edo State Civil Society Organisations (EDOSCO) on Monday protested at the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) headquarters over alleged estimated billings, highhandedness, and disrespect for Nigerians amongst others.
The protesters, who were dressed in black attire, barricaded the entrance gates to the company and displayed placards with various anti-BEDC inscriptions.
Chairman of the group, Comrade Omobude Agho, said: “As a service provider, energy is received from the national grid. So, the customers have to pay. But we are here to demand that electricity metres should be made available to citizens and a rejection of the sky-rocketed estimated billings.
Agho further alleged that there were several cases of assault by BEDC on Edo customers, pointing that the one on Innocent Okpara was a case study. He recalled that an expatriate working with the electricity firm had ordered soldiers attached to them to assault the said Innocent.
According to him, it should not be like that. If we fold our arms and close our eyes, someday, the white men (expatriates) will tell the soldiers to begin to shoot at our citizens.
Reacting to the development, the Head of Corporate Affairs, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mr. Tayo Adekunle, said: “To us as BEDC that protest was unnecessary, frivolous and sheer disturbance of public peace.
The issues raised are in the public domain and not peculiar to BEDC alone, but the entire power sector and they are being addressed.
The man (Okpara) has paid. But he is yet to balance up and we are asking for a payment plan. That is the basis of their (CSOs) protest. They are insisting on reconnecting him when he is yet to balance up the amount he is owing.