Gowon Estate residents protest blackout

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The residents of Gowon Estate, near Egbeda,in Lagos suburb protested on Monday against a three-week-old blackout slammed on them by Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (Ikeja Electric), disrupting the company’s operations at Akowonjo Business Unit.

The residents prevented movement in and out of the unit’s premises over the blackout, allegedly occasioned by the indebtedness of residents of the military quarters.

The protesters bore placards that asked the electricity company to restore their light immediately.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “IKEDC, restore our light immediately’’ and
“We can’t continue to suffer for the sins of others’’.

Other messages were: “Stop punishing us because some people owe; this is wickedness’’, “ Restore light to our feeder’’ and “ We cannot suffer because of others’ indebtedness’’.

Mr David Ogunbor, President of the Estates Youth Movement, described the blackout as “unjust’’.

Ogunbor, who led the protest, said: “This protest is all about Ikeja Electric punishing us because the military quarters in the estate is owing them.

“Ikeja Electric is punishing the whole estate residents because of a minority. We say no to this.

“If people owe, there should be a better way to recover the money and not by punishing us for the sin of other people.

“For about three weeks now, there has been no light whereas areas in the estate’s environs have normal supply. We are being punished wrongly.

“Let the company restore our light with immediate effect and find ways of recovering money from its debtors. They can’t do that to the military quarters if civilians were the ones owing. It is not right.’’

Ogunbor also said the residents had contacted the management of Ikeja Electric and were told that power would not be supplied to the area until the military quarters paid.

He said the community had suffered a lot following the development, adding that many residents spend huge money on fuel for their electricity generators.

According to him, petty businesses have been adversely affected.

Mr Sunday Asha, the Distribution Manager of the company, said that the company would address the situation and restore supply to the estate.

Asha said: “We have listened to you and we will resolve the issue. We want you to be peaceful and leave while we address the issue.

“We will convey your grievances to our head office and the management will resolve it. We will get back to you. We are always concerned about our customers’ plight’’.

NAN reports that the aggrieved protesters had insisted that they would not leave the premises until power was restored to the estate but they were persuaded by their leaders to retreat.

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