After 10 years of pervading darkness, the Ondo State government has lit up the riverine communities, started with Aboto, and has assured other communities in the South Senatorial District of speedy electrification projects.
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu made this known at the town-hall meetings held with stakeholders in the district on Tuesday, before unveiling a solar project to light up Aboto community in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state.
The two-part meeting, which was part of efforts to end the over 10 years blackout in the senatorial district, first held at the Williams Hall in Igbokoda, Ilaje LGA, before moving to Okitipupa, where another set of people met with the governor and the contractors handling the project.
At Igbokoda, different groups, including youths, women and leaders of the various communities spoke about their problems, while the outage lasted.Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPC), Ife Oyedele, commended efforts of the Federal Government and the governor, which he said had resulted in the mobilisation of contractors.
The people were unanimous in their cry for power to be returned to their communities, lamenting the eight years of neglect by previous administrations, which they said had informed their determination to carry out protests until their requests were met.
The governor, who allayed fears of the placard-carrying youths, said his administration was determined to ensure that the power problems of the area are resolved.
Akeredolu appealed to the people to cooperate with the contractors that would handle the electrification projects, which he said will eventually put a permanent end to the more than 10 years of blackout in the area.
“Let me appeal to the youths, I appreciate your concerns, because they are genuine. But I come to you with genuine intention to put a permanent end to the blackout. I beg our fathers to appeal to the youths to let the contractors do their work and ensure that the timeline for the project is maintained,” Akeredolu pleaded.
While at Aboto, where he flagged off a solar stand, the governor urged residents of the community to protect it and to ensure that they maximize it for their power consumption. He said his administration was determined to touch the lives of the people through series of projects that are designed to bring desired developments to the state.
The Alaboto of Oboto, Oba Oyetayo Ofoaye, applauded the governor on his untiring efforts at ensuring that electricity was restored to every home in the communities.
Ofoaye assured that the solar panels would be properly maintained and secured, adding that henceforth, following the steps taken so far by the present administration towards restoring power to the region, youths of the community would desist from protest.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Utilities, Mr. Tunji Light-Ariyo, said the solar power initiative was one of the bold steps taken by the government to address electricity problem in the area.Similarly, the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Akinruntan and the Kalasuwe of Apoiland, Oba Adedamola Amuseghan, said the situation had meted out untold hardship on residents of the communities.
The monarchs lauded the Akeredolu-led administration and the Federal Government for fulfilling their promise to ensure that electricity was restored to the area.
They pledged that members of the communities would support the companies and contractors working on the electrification projects, urging their subjects for more patience and cooperation so that the projects can be delivered on time.
Speaking earlier, the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, urged the people of the area to cooperate with the contractors, revealing that the projects formed part of the three layers intervention projects embarked upon by the Akeredolu administration, which include solar stands for homes and national grid extension by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company of Nigeria.