The Yoruba people are verse, they have various adages to explain and buttress every situation. I think the one I am about to quote aptly describes the scenario in the city currently, pertaining to the electricity blackout since four days ago believably as a result of the struggle against perceived and real cheating by officials of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Ogbomoso Business District against electricity consumers in Ogbomoso area.
They say, “Aje ke lana omo ku loni, tani o sai mo pe aje ana lopa omo je!” (The witch howled yesterday, and today, the child gives up the ghost, isn’t it obvious that the death was caused by that witch?).
It will be recalled that for some time now IBEDC has been in the eye of the storm following various allegations of underhand dealings against its officials leading to atrocious instability in electricity supply and issuance of crazy bills to electricity consumers in the community as well as hoarding of prepaid meters despite people paying for the product.
Ogbomoso Community Youth Forum (OCYF), a foremost youth organization has taken up the battle to restore sanity to the operation of the company in the community. It had taken on the company leading to a town hall meeting involving stakeholders including IBEDC officials last Monday at Ogunlola Hall, Oja’gbo.
OCYF claims it had carried out a lot of investigations to ascertain the veracity of the various allegations against IBEDC, and consequently made an 8-point demand including suspension of bills’ distribution to customers for three months; thereafter, a bill not exceeding N1, 000 on a monthly basis; responsibility for maintenance of electricity facilities and repairs of faults; and supply of electricity supply for at least 20 hours a day.
Others are a public apology to the people of Ogbomoso over past atrocious services; supply of prepaid meters to all those who had paid and subsequent free distribution to other customers; stoppage of harassment of customers by IBEDC workers and regular meeting with stakeholders in the community.
Amid this, since Sunday, June 20, 2021, Ogbomoso has been thrown into darkness, raising concerns that IBEDC is having its payback time to discredit OCYF that is championing the cause of anti-atrocious services by IBEDC whereby when there is prolonged blackout the often impatient populace will turn around to start hurling blames at OCYF or as is being claimed by some officials of the company that some faults had developed at various locations which could not be traced and repaired for fear of attack from aggrieved citizens if their people venture out to see to that.
However, while speaking with the president of OCYF, Rev’d. Peter Olaleye, he stated that if truly it was as a result of faults in IBEDC facilities the organization is ready to assure them of protection.
“Yes, we have observed that since Sunday, electricity supply in Ogbomoso has been cut, and we have been inundated with various reasons. There is an allegation that it is intentional that it is a revenge move from the IBEDC.
This, it is being claimed is to turn people against us so that people would say it is because of our struggle that there is blackout but if this is truly the reason they have failed. Although, we have also been told that some faults had developed in some of their facilities and they are afraid to send out their engineers to trace and correct the faults for fear that they might be attacked.
But we are promising to go with them and get security operatives to go with them to do what they need to do. We are not fighting them but to call to their attention the unscrupulous activities of some of their staff who make things difficult for us in Ogbomoso.
“What we expect them to do is to commend us for exposing the activities of bad eggs among them so they can sanction them and make possible amends. Nobody will attack them, all what we demand is openness and for them to do their work with the fear of God. All we want is good electricity supply in Ogbomoso and to stop cheating us, we are no fools.”
Efforts of ogbomosoinsightonline.com to speak with IBEDC continue to suffer rebuff as the officials again claimed they had no authority to talk to the press.