Civil Groups Stage Electricity Day In Benin


Jethro Ibileke/Benin

As Nigerians observed the nation’s independence day on Tuesday, commercial activities and vehicular movement were brought to a standstill in Benin, Edo State, as hundreds of protesters staged what they called Electricity Day.

The protesters under the aegis of Edo State Civil Society of Organizations (EDOSCO), took to the street to draw the attention of stakeholders, particularly the federal government to what they called poor power supply by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) PLC.

Armed with placards with various inscriptions, the huge crowd of protesters called on the federal government to withdraw the operational license of the electricity distribution company over poor performance.

They matched through Akpakpava Road where BEDC headquarter building is located, to the Ring Road, where they carried placards with some inscriptions that read: “No going back on December deadline. Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, and Delta people reject BEDC. BPE Has Compromised. BEDC Has Failed Woefully.”

According to the Coordinator-General of EDOSCO, Comrade Omobude Agho, the protesters were drawn from Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Delta States.

He criticized BEDC for taking customers the company’s franchise states for granted in the discharge of its duty to its customers.

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According to him, corruption and crime will not end in any country where there is no electricity.

He also accused the various state governments of not being on the side of the people in their demand for accountability from BEDC.

“They said today is [Indepedence Day], but for us, today is Electricity Democracy Day. Our leaders and governors have abandoned us; they are supposed to be at our stadia today in celebration, but they have left us. The hearts of our leaders are not clear,” he said.

Agho described BEDC as a rejected and dejected company, even as he insisted that there should be no going back to the December 2019 terminal date for the federal government to withdraw​ the license of the firm.

Meanwhile, the management of BEDC has expressed displeasure over the protest which it described as a disturbance of public peace.

The Executive Director (Commercial), of BEDC, Dr. Abu Ejoor, had while addressing journalists at the launch of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme, said that there was no expiration of BEDC’s license in December as alleged by EDOSCO.

He explained further that “the licenses issued to BEDC and other Discos would expire after 15 years, with a renewal of extension for another 10 years.

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