By Raji Rasak
Residents of Ijegun-Imore community in Satellite Town, Lagos State on Monday protested four months of power outage in the area by Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that hundreds of placard-carrying protesters from David West New Site Estate blocked their major road, preventing motorists from passing through the area.
Osuchukwu Sam-Bell, Chairman, Landlords/Residents Association, said the community had been in darkness since August due to a transformer fault.
“We want our transformer repaired and restored, we need prepaid meters; EKEDC should come and install our new 500kva transformer now,’’ he said.
Mr Zubby Anazodo, one of the affected residents, said business activities had been paralysed in the area due to the four-month outage.
“Artisans are out of business, people selling frozen foods have closed their shops, it is no longer business as usual in the community again.
“Our children are suffering, you see them with heat rashes and even our wives cannot preserve foods inside refrigerators any longer.
“We can’t sleep in our houses comfortably with the noise of generating sets and harsh weather.
“It is unfortunate that we are going through this while our neighbouring communities are enjoying uninterrupted power supply, this is injustice,’’ he said.
Arazodo appealed to EKEDC to repair the transformer and restore power supply to the community ahead of the Christmas festivities.
When contacted, EKEDC spokesman, Mr Ademola Adegoke, said the company had replaced the transformer servicing the community twice but packed up on both occasions.
“This was caused by the power load in the community which far outstrip the capacity of the transformer.
“The only way to save the transformer from breakdown is to rotate power supply but the community will not allow our men to do this as our men were always harassed and chased out each time they went there for load shedding,’’ he said.
The EKDC official said that the company was finding it difficult to install the new transformer because of the huge cost involved.
“We pleaded that we should be given sometime so we can include the cost of installation in our budget but the community is insisting on immediate installation of the transformer.
“We even proposed to use the transformer donated to by the state government to replace the damaged one pending when we will get materials to install the damaged one.
“The community yet again rejected this move and insisted that we must replace the damaged one and as well install the one donated in a fresh location,’’ he said.
Adegoke said that EKDC was prioritising their matter and assured that electricity would be restored in the area before the Christmas holidays.