Mosogar people in Ethiope West local government area of Delta State as early as 6am on Monday blocked the ever busy Benin – Warri highway at Mosogar junction leading to a gridlock that lasted for over five hours, in protest against the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for throwing the community into darkness for the past 7 years.
The protester number over 2000 youths and women carrying different placard said the community has been in darkness for over 7 years and that all effort to restore electricity to the community has met brick wall.
They also demanded the withdrawal of the company license for incompetence, noting the BEDC is a rent collector whose only is not collect electricity bills without investing to improve on their distribution infrastructure.
One of the youth leaders who spoke to newsmen during the protest, Comrade Ashe Kingsley, said that the community has been in darkness for over 7 years and all our efforts to bring power to the community have been thwarted by BEDC, “so we are protesting against darkness.”
The Community President General, Chief Columbus Akporoka, speaking also said, that though Governor Ifeanyi Okowa kept to his part of the promise to provide transformers to power the community “the contractor handling the project is abit slow and the project is about 80% completed, I think the youth are restless.”
He however, called on the protesters to exercise patience, noting that they well ensure that the contractor speedy up the job.
A former Ethiope West council chairman, Dr Wilson Omene said the power issue was now becoming a thing of extortion, with some of the community leaders demanding for cash at every given point; “let them tell us where we stand, you can’t expect us to buy transformer and donate it to BEDC,
we wrote to BEDC, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and other government agencies.
“We have met with BEDC for a way forward, but all to no avail. We are paying our bills and it is the duty of the service provider to replace any damaged installation, and any issue they will ask us to pay.”
He also alleged that contractor of the project is working for some faceless politicians to the detriment of Mosogar people.
Adekunle Tayo, the head of BEDC Corporate Affairs, Benin City, while responding to the issue said Delta State government has awarded the power installation project to a contractor, adding that, “we are not aware if the contractor has finished the project or not.”