Wednesday, July 25, 2018 5:14 pm
Residents of Ebute-Metta West, popularly called Apapa Road, in Lagos Mainland Local Government, Lagos, on Monday, in their thousands embarked on a peaceful protest over what they called ‘Satanic methodology billing system’, by Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).
The protesting residents under the aegis of Concerned Community Development Associations (CDAS) who walked round the major streets in the local government and the council secretariat, chanted solidarity songs and armed themselves with placards of various inscriptions, called on their council chairman, Mrs. Omolola Essien, to intervene in their plight.
Some inscriptions on the placards read: “EKEDC, we are your customers, we know our right”. ” EKEDC is no longer a public entity”. “EKEDC, Our Mumu Don’t Do”. ” EKEDC stop using OP-MESA to brutalize us”. “Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Honourable J. J. Jimoh and Governor Ambode come to our aid”. ” Eko DISCO stop dancing Disco with our money”, “What is par capital income of an average eaner, ????, Why paying N10, 000, N20, 000 and N50, 000 for electricity’, and many others.
The community in their latter to the council chairman, which was jointly signed by all the Community Development Association chairmen who include: Chief Y. K. Adewunmi, Alhaji Lawal S. A., Mrs. Kuku. A., and Prince Yinka Giwa, and executives of EKEDC Consumers’ Forum, who Dapo Williams, Uzi Patrick, Alhaji Ekemode J., and Tayo Banjo, said they believed in the ability and capacity of the Chairman to properly address that challenge they are facing daily with EKEDC management.
Parts of the residents letter to the Chairman read: “we bring to your kind attention about the incessant harassment and intimidation by the management of Eko Electricity Distribution company (EKEDC) that illegally engages the services of military personnel under the guise of OP-MESA, who brutalized and inflicted bodily injuries on our people.
Prior to this, the community had various discussions and exchange of correspondence with the management of EKEDC and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, wherein, some germaine issues were raised and certain critical resolutions were reached by the entire community, whereof, the issue of failure of EKEDC, as a statutory responsibility, to meter the consumers.
“Whereas, as consequence of the failure of EKEDC to meter consumers in this community, we thought is expedient to seek your timely intervention and protection against this provocation and injustice”.
The council’ s Head of Education Department (HOD), Salawu Rasheed Aderemi, who received the letter from the community members promised delivered it to the his boss.
One of the residents, Dapo Williams, Chairman, Eko Electricity Distribution Company Consumers’ Forum, who spoke on the protest said:”as a matter of fact, and as a responsible members of this community, we are not asking for any favour from the management of EKEDC, all we are saying is that they should stop giving us estimated billing, rather they should provide pre-paid metres for us.
“They need to provide the equipment that will measure the quantum of energy consumed, this they failed to do, and this has made them to be irresponsible. They have satanic methodology of estimating our billing system, this is fraud.
“This is an organization that find pleasure in ‘slapping’ consumers with estimated bills, we are saying this must not be allowed and there must be a stop to this. That is why we petitioned the Chairman of our local government for intervention.
“EKEDC should emulate other service providers should as MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, and others, they provided all they need for their services”.
Also speaking at the protest, Uzo Patrick Oluwatimileyin, who says: ” several times we have been meeting the management of EKEDC but they failed to agree with us. We gave them three conditions which they failed to meet.
“We asked them for pre-paid metres, and if they cannot provide that, we told them that a room will be paying N500, two rooms N1000, while flats will be paying from N1500 upward, these they did not accept. We also told them that if they cannot give us pre-paid meters they should remove their wires instead of embarrassing us and victimising us with men of Op-MESA.”
Uzo said after the protest, and nothing positive comes out, the community will petition the Minister of Power, and both House Committee and Se