From Grandball Joel
Vehicular movement, yesterday was restricted for over six hours as women in a peaceful protest barricade the Ughelli axis of the East /West road over the continuous estimated billing by the management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC.
Singing war songs, the women in their hundreds accuse the company of witch hunting consumers by giving them estimated bills even when there is no light for them to use.
One of the protesters who gave her name as Patricia Ajagba said, “For over two months now we have not seen light with our eyes, only for a staff of BEDC to come to our area to task every compound to be paying N5,000 for the repair of a faulty transformer.
According to Ajagba, “BEDC is taking us for granted, our transformer is not faulty as they are saying, they just want to use us to trade and make money, they should return the fuss of our transformer which they took away.
“We cannot buy transformers and electric poles for a private company while they will be making huge money from us. All our businesses have crumbled in our area.
“The federal Government should as a matter of urgency prevail on BEDC to restore our light or else we will continue to barricade the Ughelli axis of the East/West road and their head office here”.
Another protester, Mama Kparobo and Umukoro Esther said, “BEDC is a private entity and it is not expected that consumers should be buying transformers, cables and electric poles for them to do their business.
“We are tired of this continuous estimated billing, buying of transformers, cable and poles for a private company.
“Government should revoke the sale of BEDC and collect it from the woman running the company because they cannot feed from where they she not sow. The woman running the company is not capable and she should hand it over to viable hands that can run it well”.
A hair dresser who gave her name as Happiness said, “BEDC on monthly basis do give me N10,000 estimated bill in my one room apartment even without using the light, we run generator every day to do our business.
“All other business and economic activities in Ughelli North have been crumbled by the inconsistency of the power computer, and we are calling on the government to do the needful before things get out hands”.
Contacted for comment, BEDC Business Manager in charge of Ughelli business unit, Mr. Bethel, said, “I will send you the PRO contact which he never did as at the time of this report.