We want electricity, not streetlights —Ondo communities

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Peter Dada, Akure

A group of youths in Ondo State has called on the state government to solve the persistent problem of electricity facing the riverine Ilaje communities in the state.

It was gathered that hundreds of communities in five local government areas of the Ondo South Senatorial District of Ondo State have been in total blackout for over five years due to their alleged indebtedness to the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.

The group, under the auspices of the Ilaje Advancement Forum, condemned the effort by the state government through the Ondo State Oil-Producing Areas Development Commission to use generator to power the streetlights in their communities.

In a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Oluwajuwon Daudu, in Akure, the state capital on Wednesday, the group demanded that the government should provide electricity in the homes of the residents of the affected communities through the national grid.

It said, “The recent attempt to hoodwink the good people of Ilaje Local Government by lighting up the street leading to Igbokoda with diesel-powered generator is a waste of time and resources.

“It is a disgrace that we have interventionist agencies that are supposed to be catering for our needs, but prefer to embark on ghost projects and stomach infrastructure projects.

“It can only be described as satanic if OSOPADEC’s solution to the cry of the Ilaje people for electricity is buying of diesel to power a mere 88 poles of dilapidated streetlights for 55 communities spread across a land mass of about 4,000 km. We view this ill-conceived gesture as an insult on the sensibilities of over 300,000 peace-loving inhabitants of the local government.”

While appealing to the state government and the Niger Delta Development Commission to end the problem of power outage in the area by bringing public electricity back to their homes, the group said it was the right time for the NDDC to perform its interventionist responsibility and help in reconnecting the communities to the national grid.

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