Residents of Bonsaac area of Asaba, the Delta State capital, have protested against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over power outage in the area for about six months now.
The residents accused the utility company of failing to replace a damaged transformer servicing the area.
According to the protesters, who comprised mainly youth and women, the past six months have been traumatic as all effort to get BEDC to fix the transformers failed to yield any result.
One of the protesters, Mr. Samuel Okonta, told journalists that that they had endured the “traumatic” six months of darkness, following the failure of BEDC to replace the transformer.
He appealed: “We are calling on government to sack BEDC as an electricity distribution company because it is obvious it lacks the capacity to perform.
“For over six month now, our community has been in total darkness because BEDC has refused to give us a functional transformer.
Chairman of the Bonsaac Community Development Committee, Mr. Micheal Morah, said that the distribution company had failed to live up to its responsibility of rendering service to the people.
According to him, “since over six months our transformer got burnt and we wrote to BEDC, it has not responded. We even went as far as going to meet them to find a way to solve the problem, but all to no avail.
“The Bonsaac community bought the old transformer, and maybe they are still expecting us to buy another transformer again.
“We pay our bills regularly and as such it is the duty of BEDC as a service provider to replace any damaged electricity installation.”
When contacted, Mrs. Esther Okolie, BEDC’s Public Affairs Officer, faulted the decision of the residents to take to protest rather than “coming to BEDC for a formal complaint.”
“They did not come to our office and if they have police permit to stage a protest they could have at least, reached our office.
“Since they have decided that protest is the only way to express their grievance, I cannot comment on the matter,” she stated.