The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company has said the activities of cult members in the Ijebu Igbo area of Ogun State are responsible for the power outage in the area.
The Regional Communications Officer of IBEDC, Ogun State, Mr. Ayodeji Bada, said the company closed its office in the area due to the spate of cult killings, adding that company workers were threatened by the hoodlums.
A resident of the area, Olu Ogunnaiya, had appealed to the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, to come to the rescue of residents over the outage.
Ogunnaiya, in a letter addressed to The PUNCH, accused IBEDC of cutting off power supply to the area after some community members allegedly made a peaceful complaint against excessive billing by the firm despite poor service.
He said, “It is high time we let this newly acquired company knew that Ijebu Igbo, as the headquarters of the Ijebu North Local Government Area and second most populous in the entire Ogun State, has been very generous to make the existence of IBEDC possible.
“When the former NEPA was in dire need of four plots of land to establish where its operating room is now situated, Ijebu Igbo contributed for the office rental and for the pick-up purchased that made services possible.
“Business cannot thrive successfully in any society with such an ungrateful act that is never done in any part of the world. The Federal Government is to be blamed, however, because it did not wait to access properly the capacity of companies it sold the former utility company to… before the contract was awarded to some incompetent firms.
“Like the adage says, ‘A little drop of water makes a big ocean,’ all we are saying is that the IBEDC should unconditionally connect Ijebu Igbo line back and apologise for this indignation not expected by the indigenes of the community home and abroad.”
Bada, in a statement, said workers of the company left the area due to continuous threats to their lives.
“There was a serious rivalry between cults in the town resulting in a deteriorating security situation in the town. The safety of lives of IBEDC workers and property was threatened by the groups. The company therefore withdrew all its staff members from Ijebu Igbo as their safety was no longer guaranteed. There was no protest of any kind as insinuated.
“Normalcy has since returned to the town and IBEDC has commenced operations in Ijebu Igbo and environs for over two weeks now.
“We, however, apologise for whatever inconveniences our absence may have caused our esteemed customers during the crisis period and promise more quality power supply and improved service delivery to the town,” he said in a statement.
He later told PUNCH Metro on the telephone that the matter was discussed in a meeting involving community leaders, the police and representatives of the company.
Bada said Ogunnaiya’s complaint was misinformed because the matter was resolved after security operatives guaranteed the safety of the workers.