Angry residents of Irese in the Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Monday took to the streets of the town to protest against the power outage that has persisted in the area for the past five months.
The residents, particularly the youths of the town, trooped out in their large numbers to barricade the main roads with woods, benches, and tables for several hours.
The protesters marched through the major streets of Irese town, chanting various solidarity songs to express their displeasure over the development.
While disallowing movement of vehicles and motorcycles from coming and entering the town, the aggrieved residents lamented that the community had been in total darkness for five months.
They berated the authorities of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, for being insensitive to their plight.
A resident of the community, Ms. Ifeoluwa Olomofe, said power outage had increased the level of insecurity thereby necessitating the protest.
She explained that their businesses had been adversely affected.
“For close to five months now, the residents of Irese community have been in total darkness – a situation that has paralysed local businesses while some were even shut down and heightened insecurity.
“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 roads with benches and tables and make this bonfire to draw the attention of the BEDC and government authorities to plight.
“As it is now, we would not open the road until our plight is addressed because we are suffering and there is no development here. They should listen to us”, she added.
Reacting, the spokesman for the BEDC, Akure Branch, Mr. Micheal Barnabas, said the transformers in the community were damaged by vandals, noting that the issue would soon be resolved.
Barnabas, “The truth of the matter is that the transformers in the community were vandalised and we have provided five drums of oil for a replacement for you to know how committed we are to restoring electricity to the town.
“It is not that we are not aware of the challenges they are facing and very soon we will replace the transformer 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.”