By Energy Worth
Protesting youths from the Ondo Southern Senatorial district, on Wednesday, carried out their threat to block the ever busy Benin-Ore /Lagos road, in the Odigbo Local Government Area of the state, protesting over the ten years power outage and neglect of the area by the successive government.
The protesters who trooped out in their hundreds as early as 7 am blocked the major road and adjoining roads in the town, paralysing commercial activities and restricting vehicular movement for over five hours.
The youth had last week threatened to shut down the busy Ore/Benin /Lagos road if the government failed to restore light in the area.
The aggrieved youths from the five out of the six local government areas in the southern senatorial district of the state, which include, Odigbo, Irele, Okitipupa, Ilaje and Ese Odo crippled all activities and disallowed movement of vehicles and passengers.
The youth under the umbrella of the United Action Democracy (UAD) were armed with placard of various inscriptions, such as “Restore Light Back To Ondo South, “Revoke BEDC License”, “10 Years Darkness Wetin We Do”, “ODSG Has Failed Us”, “This Total Blackout Has Crumble Our Business”, “Agboola Ajayi Is A Wicked Man”, among others
They vowed to continue with the protest until the state government attend to their plight, saying the government had failed to provide a solution to the power outage in the area which has affected the economic activities of the people of the area.
They alleged the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) of deliberately plunging the communities into total darkness, while some bad elements took the advantage of the blackout in the area to perpetrate crime in the area.
Speaking to journalists, the leader of the group, Kunle Ajayi, said the protest became necessary to press home their demands after all dialogue with the state and the federal government had failed to yield any positive result.
Ajayi called for the revocation of the BEDC licences over its arbitrary billing noting that the power outage in the area has sent many companies and small-scale entrepreneurs packing.
Ajayi explained that the government had severally resisted the youths from speaking up against the perpetual darkness in the southern area of the state, saying “for over ten years, our people have been living in a perpetual darkness and this government has kept mute over our plight despite many pleas.
“In fact, the current government in Ondo State under Governor Rotimi Akeredolu used this epileptic power supply for its campaign and nothing has been done since he assumed office in February last year.
“But it is unfortunate, and rather for them to address the issue, same government was paying people to attack us since we have refused to back down in our agitation for the restoration of light to the areas.
“So, our demand is that we want the licences of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to be immediately revoked by the Federal Government.
“We also want the government under Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his Deputy Agboola Ajayi to immediately step down because they have failed us completely and failed to keep their promise
“We are also asking the government to immediately restore electricity to these affected local government areas in the senatorial district of the state because this suffering is now enough for our people.
“Although, some of our members who were to join this protest were earlier arrested, but they have been freed and now we are giving this same government another 14 days to address our plight hence we will return to the street”