Residents of Gateway Estate, Magodo Phase I, in the Isheri area of Lagos State, have been left in darkness after Ikeja Electric Plc cut off power supply to them on Tuesday.
Our correspondent gathered that the electricity distribution company cut off supply to the estate on the grounds that some residents were indebted to it.
The Chairman, Magodo GRA Phase 1, Gateway Zone Community Development Association, Mr. Bode Ojomu, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, described the power firm’s action as “an act of lawlessness.”
Ojomu said, “Those of us who have even paid because we are on prepaid meters, which is the real issue, you cut us off. What right do they have to do that? Just because they have the authority to go to the transformer.
“Majority of the people who are affected are on prepaid meters. The Chairman of our power committee, Mr. Majekodunmi, has practically shifted his office to Ikeja Electric’s office on CMD Road, and the people there seem not to even understand the implication of what they are doing. They said, ‘Our ogas said that our jobs are on the line and we must go and raise money’. Is that how to raise money?”
He stated that the firm promised to reconnect the transformer on Friday but had yet to do so.
Ojomu said, “Honestly, I am not happy about what is going on. They even have the audacity to say that the CDA executive should tell people to bring money. Which money do you want me to tell people who are on prepaid meters to bring when you first cut their light off? What you were supposed to do first is what you are doing last.
“You should have approached us before you disconnect the transformer and say, ‘We are having this issue.’ And we will say, ‘Who are the people owing you?’ Then we will talk to them. But you cannot punish ‘A’ for the offence committed by ‘B’. It is not lawful.”
He added that Majekodunmi told him that he met people from the UNILAG Estate and other neighbouring estates who had a similar problem at the firm’s office on Friday.
Ojomu said, “It is an act of lawlessness; they make the regulatory authority just a toothless bulldog, because they just take the law into their own hands; they do what they like, all in the name of trying to get funds.
“It is a contradiction; the law says they must meter every house. If you have done that, people will not have your electricity to use if they don’t pay.”
When contacted, the Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric, Mr. Felix Ofulue, appealed to the residents to be patient with the company, saying, “The issue will be amicably resolved.”
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