According to a report by The PUNCH, many residents of Irese community, in the Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Monday, took to the streets to protest against the blackout in the community.
The protesters, who barricaded the main road with wood, benches, tables and other objects, lamented that the outage had persisted for about five months.
According to them, the situation paralyzed business activities in the community.
The protesters berated the Benin Electricity Distribution Company for being insensitive to their plight, saying after several complaints, the company failed to correct the fault.
One of the protesters, Ifeoluwa Olomofe, said the community had been suffering from various forms of criminal activities as a result of the blackout, adding that the five months’ power outage had adversely affected their businesses, especially artisans in the community.
She said, “For close to five months now, residents of Irese community have been in total darkness. The situation has paralysed local businesses, while some have even shut down.
“Many of us cannot work as there is no electricity to run our business again as artisans. How do we now feed our family as those who are supposed to give us jobs or contracts cannot do that again since we have no electricity to work?
“So, we have to barricade the road with benches and tables and make this bonfire to draw the attention of the BEDC and government authorities to our plight. As it is now, we will not open the road until our situation is addressed because we are suffering and there is no development here.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Akure Business Unit of BEDC, Mr Micheal Barnabas, said transformers in the community were damaged by vandals.
He, however, noted that the issue would soon be resolved.
“The truth of the matter is that the transformers in the community were vandalised.
“It is not that we are not aware of the challenges they are facing and very soon we will replace the transformers. But we will just appeal to them to be patient with us; we didn’t abandon them. We are taking steps to address the issues,” he added.