Drama ensued as Operatives of the Department of Security Service, DSS and Police officers on Wednesday rescued the BEDC Business Manager, Igbara-oke Unit, Mrs. Iyabo Adefemi from being lynched by irate Fanibi youths over allegation of stolen transformer cable by the officials of the company.
The youths who staged a protest that lasted for over five hours blocked major oyemekun road and Ondo road in the state capital as early as seven o’clock in the morning ,disrupting commercial activities and traffic flow which led to long queue of vehicles.
The protesting youths also carried placards with different inscriptions against the operation of BEDC in Ondo state.
Some Police officers however pleaded with fanibi community leaders who led the protest to allow road users go for their normal daily business while they would call for meeting between them and the management of BEDC.
The chairman, landlord association in fanibi, mr Olubunmi Mapayi alleged that officials of BEDC have been terrorising residents of the community with outrageous billing while they refused to issue prepaid meters for them.
He said “ they have earlier come to remove a fuse from our transformer last Friday,telling us that our fuse was faulty and the next thing we saw was that two big transformer cables have also been cut overnight.That would be the third time our cable would be stolen.
After reporting at the police stattion, we complained to BEDC ,but they denied. We told them that we suspected foul play because how come the cable was cut a day after they removed the fuse ?
Adefemi,being escorted out by security agents
We are not owing them. i have also been there to complain several times that the bill they give us is too much as they give every flat 15,000 on month basis.
To our surprise ,they told us we are owing BEDC #24,000,000 electricity bill and that until we pay the bill, they will not replace the stolen cable.
We will not stop this protest till they restore our light and provide prepaid meters for us because we Can not take the cheating any longer. ” Mapayi said.
While the top police officers were addressing the community leaders, some youths headed towards the office of the BEDC, barricading the road in front of the office and disallowing BEDC officers to resume while others ran for safety.
It took the police officers and DSS, over thirty minutes before they could help the Business Manager, Igbara-oke Unit, Mrs. Iyabo Adefemi out of her office amidst tight security as the youths were ready to attack her.
Adeyemi was later taken to the old police headquarters where she and fanibi community representatives are having a closed door meeting towards finding a solution to the matter.
However, the outcome of the meeting seemed not to have satisfied the youths as they claimed that Mrs Adefemi did not give them definite answer to the time electricity would be restored to the fanibi community.
A youth leader, who was part of the meeting ,told ROVING REPORTERS that Adefemi assured them she would order for cables as replacement for the stolen ones from BEDC headquarters in Benin but she was not certain of the time that would materialise.
“ The Area commander has waded in and asked her to restore our light within two days. We are to also hold another meeting with her to come to conclusion as to some houses that are still owing but we are likely to stage another protest if it takes her too long to restore our light. “ The youth leader said .
Efforts to get the reaction of Mrs Adefemi were not successful as she didn’t grant interview when she was being escorted back to the Hilux Van out of the area command .
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