Youths seek immediate restoration of power in Isokoland
They claimed that communities in Isoko North and South councils of Delta State had overtime been subjected to all forms of sharp practices from the utility firm ranging from “indiscriminate collection and embezzlement of electricity bills to vandalisation of power facilities in the localities, which they alleged was being spearheaded by the Ughelli Business District of the company to paint the communities in bad light in the face of the disagreement between the parties.
In three petitions dated September 8, October 12 and 29, 2015 and addressed to BEDC, the state governor, the council chairmen, representative in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as their counterparts in the State House of Assembly and top security officials and concerned authorities, the youths, under the auspices of Isoko Progressive Youth Centre (IPYC) accused the Business Manager of Ughelli Business District, Engr. Pius Azeh, of highhandedness, insensitivity and egocentrism.
Tracing the genesis of the crisis, IPYC’s President General and Isoko National Youth Leader, Comrade Anthony Ogbalor, said all their peaceful overtures had been spurned by the Business Manager except for the meeting they had with him in Ughelli on September 21 this year, which according to Ogbalor, was unfruitful claiming that the management was unyielding and instead resolved to collect ‘‘outstanding debts” for services it allegedly never provided.
He said four issues were placed on the front turner during the parley which included steady electricity supply in Isoko nation, security of electricity installations in the land, clearing of all accumulated debts on customers’ bills and checking of alleged recklessness of staff of the firm as well as monitoring of all cash drive exercises and distribution of bills in the two councils.
Ogbalor said instead of addressing the above issues raised in the petitions and even at the meeting, the BEDC, through the Ughelli Business District, treated their demands with disdain and went ahead to deepen the crisis by disconnecting all in the two councils, thus throwing the entire land into total blackout since October 15 this year.
The youths, consequently, resolved that they had placed embargo on revenue drive until a time the BEDC deems it fit to engage them.
The youths fumed at the alleged lackadaisical attitude of BEDC towards the issues which they maintained were already inflicting untold hardship on the people.
Meanwhile, IPYC has termed a social media post authored by one Azilo Ogheneyule on November 3 this year regarding the current imbroglio ‘‘a total lie.”
Reacting to the publication, the youths accused Azeh of influencing some Isoko leaders to take uninformed stand.
They also accused him of colluding with some of the leaders to subvert the ‘‘truth of excessive vandalisation of Isoko transformers, printing of fake receipts to accumulate debts for the entire Isoko nation and the epileptic electricity supply that prompted the embargo.”
‘‘Whether the Business Manager likes it or not, the embargo placed on cash drive exercise still remains until these anomalies bothering the Isoko nation are resolved through a meeting where our evidence against BEDC will be made known to the general public.”
‘‘We are calling on the management of BEDC to warn Engr. Pius Azeh, Business Manager of Ughelli Business District, not to create any form of crisis in Isokoland with his egocentric attitude,” the youths stated.