Residents of Yotomi Golden Estate along the Ofada-Owode Road, Mowe, Ogun State, say life has been made difficult by a six-month power outage in the area.
It was learnt that since October, 2015, when the estate’s only transformer was vandalised by hoodlums, power had been cut off from the area, which also affected water supply and forced some residents to fetch water from a stream near the estate.
Our correspondent learnt that as a result of the ongoing fuel scarcity, residents who had generators had joined others to fetch water from the stream, while almost all the houses were presently in total darkness.
It was reported on October 29, 2015, that the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, which served the estate, allegedly disconnected the community when they protested against poor power supply to the area.
It was reported that the then IBEDC Owode Service Unit Manager, Kola Olanipekun, received a delegation from the estate which demanded improved power supply in the area.
Our correspondent gathered that a week after the meeting, the transformer supplying power to the estate was vandalised by unidentified persons, and the estate had been in total blackout since then.
It was learnt that the transformer was punctured, while its oil was drained.
Our correspondent gathered that the estate executive thereafter wrote to the IBEDC to request a new transformer, after which they got a reply that the company would supply it soon.
In the reply letter dated, February 24, which was obtained by PUNCH Metro, the IBEDC Regional Technical Manager, Akin Abiodun, said the estate’s request would be given adequate attention.
The letter read in part, “This is to acknowledge your letter, dated February 5, on the replacement of the vandalised transformer, and this is to inform you that your request is receiving adequate attention and the outcome would be communicated to you soonest.”
Our correspondent gathered that the estate, however, had yet to hear from IBEDC since February.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, a resident, Akande Oladele, who is also a member of the electrical committee, said the estate decided to task residents a sum of N20,000 for a new transformer, but most residents could not afford the sum.
He said, “A week after the newspaper report, some hoodlums came to vandalise our transformer. They punctured it and drained all the oil. That was in October. We contributed N600 per house to buy new oil and poured it into the transformer. It was then we discovered it had been punctured.
“Our estate has not had light since that October. Some of our executive members went to IBEDC headquarters to complain, and we got a response that we would be given a new transformer.
“When it was not forthcoming, we started to contribute. Each resident was asked to pay N20,000. Some have paid the money, but others are kicking against it. We have done everything we can to get power restored, but there is no result.”
Another resident, a lawyer, Ojetunji Ojekunle, said, “From October 2015, it has not been easy for us here. We generate our power from generators, including pumping water. Not everyone can afford that. Some residents fetch water from a river here.
“The IBEDC has promised to give us a new transformer, but we have not got the promised equipment. The landlords’ association came up with the contribution of N20,000 for the transformer, but the money is not forthcoming.
“The Owode Service Unit, which supplies power, is aware that we are contributing for a new transformer and they still have not done anything to stop it.”
Our correspondent was taken to the vandalised transformer and he observed that the equipment had begun to rust and overgrown with weeds.
A woman, who gave her name only as Sola, said some children in the estate now had rashes from the side effects of the use of stream water.
She said, “In this estate, we have pensioners, petty traders and others. How can you expect these people to cough out N20,000 for a new transformer? Most of them pay less than N5,000 monthly as rent.
“That is why we are begging the IBEDC to restore power here. We celebrated Christmas and Easter in darkness. Those who have generators cannot use them again because of fuel scarcity.”
The Owode Service Unit Manager, Mr. Abiodun Shobayo, said the issue of power supply to the estate had gone beyond him, adding that the unit had yet to receive any transformer from the headquarters for the estate.
He said, “The estate has written to the regional management. So, the management can give you the full details. I do not know their mind.
“But we have not received any transformer from the management. Please, get across to them.”
When contacted, Ogun Regional Manager, Abiodun said he would call our correspondent back on the matter. But he had yet to call back as of press time.