Residents of no fewer than seven communities in Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State are groaning over incessant Power blackout which has affected the area for more than 18 months.
The affected communities included Oke-Oyi, headquarters of Ilorin East local council, Agbeyangi, Oke-Ose, Panada, Badi, Adelu and Oloro in the council areas.
According to the chairman of the Oke-Oyi Community Development Association, Ahmed Seriki, the communities have been experiencing power failure in the last one and a half years.
He, however, called on Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company to restore electricity to the area after 18 months of power outages.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Ilorin on Monday, Seriki decried the situation and appealed to IBEDC to urgently address the issue.
The situation, he said, had adversely affected commercial activities in the area, amidst prevailing economic hardship.
The Chairman who said that the communities had reported the situation to Babaoko and Challenge offices of IBEDC in Ilorin several times without achieving positive results stated that they had contributed money to buy electric cables with no positive results.
“We have made several visits to Babaoko, Sango and Challenge offices of the IBEDC in Ilorin and they told us to buy cables and we contributed N500,000, but we didn’t see any positive result. We have been in the blackout in our area for almost two years now,” he lamented.
He said, “Many business people relocated to other towns, while those that could not are languishing in abject poverty.
“We urge the appropriate authorities, particularly the state governor and the IBEDC, to restore the power outage in the town. The power outage has paralysed socio-economic activities in this community,” Seriki said.
Similarly, the secretary of the association, Jamiu Oladokun, explained that there was a time when the community bought cables to help restore electricity.
But Oladokun said the effort yielded no desired result.
“All the hospitals in Oke-Oyi are complaining about the huge amount of diesel and petrol they buy to power their generators and other necessary equipment. We have made several meetings with the IBEDC officials at Baboko and Sango in Ilorin, to the extent that we contributed money to procure the damaged materials, yet it was fruitless,” he said.
The secretary described the situation as unbearable for residents.
A resident, Jimoh Yewande, appealed to the authorities to save them as it is easy for criminals to operate in darkness.
When contacted, Olori Busolami Tunwase, Corporate Affairs Manager of IBEDC told The PUNCH that the organisation would conduct an investigation into the nature of the fault that affected the electricity supply in the area.
“If the people of the communities have reported in our office, we will investigate the nature of the faults to know what is really wrong and we will correct the faults and restore electricity to the area,” she said.