Aniocha-Oshimili Residents Threaten Mass Protest Against BEDC

THE people of Aniocha-Oshimili Federal constituency have threatened to embark on mass protest against Benin Electricity Distribution Company [BEDC], Asaba if it fails to meet its obligation of making electricity available to residents of the four local governments that make up the constituency.
The threat, which is contained in a petition written by Barr Augustine Elikwu and Co, dated July 3rd, 2015 and addressed to the Managing Director of BEDC, Benin City, Edo State, emphasised that the people of the affected communities would do all within its right and law to ensure that BEDC responds to their demands.
While lamenting what it described as effortless ease and impunity with which BEDC has been working towards not ensuring the affected communities are electrified, the communities accused BEDC of not having the capacity of distributing electricity to the communities in spite of their claims to the contrary.
The communities, who also threatened a law suit against BEDC and also applying the Freedom of Information Act to know the modalities with which BEDC bided and obtained the right and license to distribute electricity within Delta State, especially Aniocha-Oshimili, wondered how a company that claims to have what it takes to distribute electricity will sit by the side and allow individual communities to carry out self-help maintenance work on installations that are supposed to belong to BEDC.
Besides accusing BEDC of selling currents meant for these communities to some company’s located off Ibusa- Asaba road, the communities maintained that such will no longer be tolerated as the said companies are not larger than the affected communities.
The petition which called for the immediate connection of the affected communities to the newly built and energised step down in Asaba, emphasised that the affected communities within Aniocha-Oshimili Federal constituency have been in darkness for the past six years.
The petition, reads in part: “That the substation along Ibusa-Asaba road had long been completed and now energised, yet our clients communities have remained in darkness. The step down is equipped with six feeders and they have all been energised but BEDC is operating only two feeders for private companies, yet Asaba people experience epileptic supply. Communities are spending millions of naira rehabilitating their internal electricity facilities, a responsibility that is squarely reserved for BEDC, yet BEDC has willfully refused to connect them with the remaining four feeders”, it stated.
Efforts to contact the Public Affairs Officer of BEDC, Asaba, Mrs. Esther Okolie, to respond to some of the issues raised in the petition did not yield result as the call put through to her line was not answered as at the time of filing this report.