EDOCSO SHUTS DOWN BEDC HEADQUARTERS
* Offices deserted
*Managing Director and Management team ran from office.
* Parking lot empty of operational vehicles.
Edo Civil Society Organisations shut down the headquarters of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company in a well coordinated protest today.
The activists have lamented the way and manner the management of BEDC treat citizens in the state and the other three states (Delta, Ondo and Ekiti) they operates for the past three years they took over the distribution of electricity.
The issues raised are the issuance of estimated and outrageous bills, deliberate non supply of meters, high handedness, disrespect for customers, coersion of communities to procure equipment and the use of military personnel that escorts some white expatriates that work with the power company who brutalise citizens over electricity bills.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the disconnection of one Mr. Innocent Okpara in their Ekae business district over non payment of electricity bills which he had contested overtime and waited for the power company to issue him bills based on his actual consumptions. While he never resisted his disconnection that fateful day, he requested to hold on to his service cable when the white expatriate working with BEDC ordered the military personnel attached to him to molest and brutalise him for daring to request for his service wires. Mr. Okpara has taken steps since by paying part of the bills and demanded that he should be reconnected pending the resolution of his bill’s contestation.
It is very unfortunate that the management of BEDC has demanded that before he is reconnected, he must first withdraw his petitions against the company and the white expatriate that ordered his beating by military personnel. We have viewed this as oppression and intimidation in the highest order and have vowed to state that if this is the last vestige of colonialization to overthrow, we shall fight it with the last drop of our blood even if the Federal Government refuses to take steps.These other activities of BEDC against citizens have reached the highest of the heavens that requires our collected voice to demand the revocation of the licence of BEDC which should be taken over for a more competent firm for happiness of us all.
Edo Civil Society Organisations in 2016 through their lawyer Barrister Toluwani Adebiyi had secured a judgment against the 11 Distribution Companies across the country and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to the effect that there should be a reversal of tariff because the process of increment did not pass through legal procedures, they have since refused to obey the court judgment, a situation that made the activists to stop paying the illegal tarrif. The Human Rights Group had in their last three General Assembly Meeting resolved to resume payment of bills commesurate to what they consume monthly.
The last is yet to be seen as we have declared this phase of the struggle as FESTIVAL OF PROTESTS until the Federal Goverment revokes the licence of BEDC whose operations have caused a lot of businesses and individuals hardship and discontentment across their coverage areas.
We will not rest in this struggle until Mr. Innocent Okpara is connected back to the network.
FUNKE OSIBUDU AND HER INEPT MANAGEMENT TEAM MUST BE SACKED NOW!
Comrade Osazee Edigin
Edo Civil Society Organisations