From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
The Managing Director, Jos Electricity Distribution Plc, (JEDC), Engr Abdu Bello Mohammed, has warned the two border communities – Ijegwu and Otobi of Obi and Otukpo Local Government Areas of Benue state not to tamper with electricity installations in their domains no matter the provocation.
Mohammed gave the warning at the weekend at Ijegwu and Otobi as the company prepares to restore power supply to the area following the destruction of electricity installations in the areas during the recent crises.
Represented by the Head of Corporate Communications, Dr Friday Adakole Elijah, the Managing Director, who was furious at the degree of harm done to electricity installations in the area said, “We will not take it kindly with any community that goes out deliberately to destroy our facilities.
“It is unacceptable. It is condemnable. This should be the first and the last. It should never happen again. If it does, we will withdraw our services from here”.
“If you have any grievances with your neighbouring community, you should not touch our facility. It is a public facility. It is not serving you alone. Now that you people have destroyed the lines that pass through here, you have prevented those in Obarike – Ito, Adum, Orihi and the entire Oju LGA from enjoying electricity.
“Why should the inhabitants of these places suffer because of your misdemeanour?, he asked.
Mohammed further advised the people in the area to always channel their grievances to the nearest office to them stressing that, “if you have any complaint, kindly go to our nearest office to you. We deliberately established offices in your domains for this purpose. We created a region in Otukpo for administrative convenience. Don’t take the law into your hands. Don’t touch our installations”.
Engr Mohammed who disclosed that it would cost the company quite a fortune to restore supply to the area charged the people to henceforth brace up for the challenges of paying for their consumed energy as at when due.
“Revenue from this axis has been very meagre. We give you 12 hours of daily supply but in the end, you pay what you want to pay. That will no longer be acceptable. We buy the energy that we give to you on credit. It is not free. It will no longer be business as usual. You must pay in full your monthly energy charge”, he declared.
The Managing Director also cautioned members of the crisis-ridden communities not to assault the staff of Jos Electricity Distribution Plc who have been drafted to work in the area saying, “Any attack on them will lead to halting the work. We are ready to commence work but don’t attack our staff. We are not part of the problems and we are therefore not desirous of being part of it”.
Also speaking, the Regional Manager, Otukpo, Comrade Mathew Agbata who decried the destruction of the utility facility in the locality sued for cooperation from the youth.
Agbata urged the people to feel free to call on him if the need arises saying the company was poised to give the public quality services in consonance with the yearnings and aspirations of customers.
In his reaction, the Adutu of Obi, His Royal Highness, Chief Chris Ijale and his Otobi counterpart, Chief Inalegwu Odeh, thanked the Managing Director for the visit and agreeing to restore light promising to sensitize their people against tampering with the electricity facility.
It would be recalled that the Otobi youth of Otukpo Local Government and the Ijegwu youth of Obi Local Government Areas were recently at war with each other, a situation that culminated in the destruction of transformers, poles and lines among other things.
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