As Nigerians struggle to survive the hardship caused by redesigned Naira notes and swap policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the situation has been further worsened for the residents of a part of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area (LCDA), under Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State, South-West Nigeria.
TOP MEDIA reports that the unfortunate residents who spread across six streets, including: Aduke Odekunle; Aina; Ambali; Banjo Owoyele; Morenike and Wole Bamiduro have been groaning under pains and anguish as families now live under darkness, with social and economic activities totally collapsed and paralyzed, as their power substation called (Aina 2) has since been burgled by suspected experts.
When the accused gained entrance into the substation, they removed the power supply cables (four) from the transformer and took them away.
The Community leader who did not want his name to be mentioned in print, while addressing journalists, narrated that the ugly incident happened between last week Thursday and midnight of Friday (February 9 and 10, 2023).
The leader revealed that on the fateful Thursday, four technical staff of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IKEDC), at Olayiwola, new Oko Oba (Fagba) Undertaking office came to the community as they routinely do and headed to the point they usually collect the key to open and access the power substation. The officials who visited in the morning claimed that they wanted to cut grass inside the power-house.
On the following day (Friday) morning, residents in the affected streets suddenly observed that the neighbouring streets they share Feeder with had light, but no supply in their streets. They immediately suspected something might have gone wrong, which was the reason they visited the substation.
It was during the visit they observed that the station has been burgled and that the supply cables have been removed and taken away.
Immediately after, a formal complaint was made at the Ebenezer, Ijaiye Police Station. After the narration, it was gathered that the community leaders were asked to make a statement, which they did. The case was subsequently reported at the Olayiwola Undertaking office.
Then, the community was promised that the IKEDC officials would visit the community the following week, specifically on Monday.
On Monday, (February 13) some youths and their leaders visited a former Ojokoro LCDA Chairman; explained to him what happened, vis-a-vis the social and economic effects of the power outage, as well as the security threat the situation has posed to the entire community.
They also explained to the ex-LG boss how enraged the youths were and their resolve to stage protests against the injustice meted out to the community and residents. The former Chairman appealed to the youths, urged them to report the incident to both security agency and IKEDC, as well as follow up for the needful to be done.
The youths immediately after, with the community leaders headed to Undertaking office for a meeting with the Technical Manager. The team eventually met the TM with one of the line Managers, Chuks by name.
Chuks at the meeting, confirmed that while the internal investigation was ongoing, he was already engaging the TM on how another cable would be sourced and fixed for the light to be restored to the community. When asked to be specific when the new cables would be fixed, Chuks, it was learnt was not categorical, only saying that the fixing was subject to availability in store of the stolen materials.
After, the same Monday, the community leaders and youths moved to Ebenezer Police station. There, they met the Manager in charge of vandalization at Jankara Business office – who has been invited by the DPO. The Manager, we gathered attempted to absolve the accused technical staff – who entered the power house the previous week. The enraged DPO then directed that the four staff who were in the community last week Thursday should be produced and made to report at the station.
However, it was shocking that on Tuesday, February 14, IKEDC made available only one out of four staff! The horrible explanation given to this, it was learnt was that the remaining staff were on leave! It was however gathered that only staff made available is being held for investigation.
Later on Tuesday, repeated calls made to Chuks to have an update from him on steps taken so far by IKEDC were snubbed!
We however gathered that the Ebenezer DPO has detailed an officer to visit the substation for on-spot assessment and preliminary investigation.
As the story moves, the residents continue to express their agonies and frustration on the havoc the blackout has wrecked on homes, businesses and the community in general.
The situation for now, is unpredictable as youths are charged; continue to mobilize themselves for action – to protest against the suspected ignoble conduct of the irritant IKEDC staff, the suspected attempts to cover up some dirty details involved and delay tactics being deployed by the Disco Managers to quickly rise up to the urgent situation and ensure that the needful is done, so as to allow peace to reign in the community.