A banner against BEDC. Photos: CHUKWUDI ABIANDU.
A major protest held today in Asaba against the poor electricity supply of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) with a call on the Federal Government not to renew the license of the company in December.
The protesters who operated peacefully and under the aegis of Young Nigerians Rights Organisation were at the Interbau Roundabout, Asaba with various placards with which they sensitized members of the public about the pains that the power distribution company has caused the citizens.
Comrade Victor Ojei, Convener of BEDC Must Go, Delta State, having interaction with Mr. Oboware E. Paul, Superintendent of Police at the Interbau Roundabout, Asaba, venue of the protest against BEDC.
With the police from the State police command led by Superintendent of Police, Mr. Oboware E. Paul in full presence, the protesters told banneronlinenews.com that there action was meant to sue BEDC for a class action.
Explaining what that meant, the Convener of the BEDC Must Go, Delta State, Comrade Victor Ojei it was a move to get 40,000 signatures against BEDC as a pointer to the Federal Government that the people have lost faith with the company for causing citizens pains through giving them epileptic power supply and overall poor performance in the business.
Comrade Ojei said: “We are here because we want to sue BEDC for a class action. We want to collect 40,000 signatures against the company. We want to sue BEDC for causing citizens pain by giving us epileptic power supply, refusal to give us meters, going about with security agencies to beat up customers, especially in Bonsac, and forcing them to pay monthly estimated bills.”
He continued: “BEDC disconnect people’s homes and take away the wires, and this is theft. You can’t cut wires and go away with it under the Power Act of Nigeria. So, it is against the law. Impunity is the order of the day in BEDC. It is wrong for BEDC to cut people’s light, disconnect them and still send them estimated bills when they are not connected to BEDC poles. BEDC abuse customer’s rights.
“The Federal Government should seize BEDC’s license for poor performance. Since the performance review comes up in December 2019, this is the only escape route for the Federal Government to end the poor services of BEDC and remove the pain it is causing the citizens, otherwise, the Federal Government will pay BEDC 10 years envisage profit into the future.
“So, non approval of the license is the only window left for the government to dispense with BEDC and its poor performance,” Comrade Ojei said.
Some of the placard of the protesters against BEDC reads: “BEDC enough is enough,” “A class action legal suit activated.”
One of the banners also read: “Young Nigeria Rights Organisation:
• BEDC license must not be renewed – Federal government;
• Stop poor services, stop estimated billings;
• Provision of metres must be addressed;
• Stop estimated bills for customers
• Funke is working against 45 per cent women affirmation in government offices;
• Any DISCO that cannot supply light should go.
• They should release pre-paid metres.
The protest was largely peaceful and had the full presence of the police who kept order and peace while the protest lasted,with many citizens approving of the protest and denouncing BEDC. “It must go,” they said.