Reactions have continued to trail disconnection of electricity in Ijesa zone of Osun community by the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) over assault on its staff.
Some youths in Olomilagbala and Bolorunduro communities of Obokun local government in Osun state, were said to have attacked Ilesa business hub of IBEDC on Thursday March 14, and beat the staffs of the company.
However, IBEDC in a statement issued by its Regional Communication Officer, Kikelomo Owoeye, condemned the assault on its staff and threatened that the whole communities would suffer for the action.
The statement said: “when a community is hostile to our staff we will take a drastic step until the concerned community come to terms with the company.
“In the case of this incident, we urge the security agencies to bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to book and ensure they are prosecuted accordingly so as to serve as a deterrent to those who want to trail the path of violence to express their grievances.
“We will ensure that those communities will be shut down till the perpetrators are brought to book and the safety of our staff are guaranteed in Ilesa and its environs.
But, a community leader in Ilare, Chief Tope Abiola, who also condemned the attack on the company, noted that “IBEDC staff perform their duty with impunity in the area.
He said: “though, it is barbaric and uncivilized to attack the officials, but their acts could be threatening and frustrating which could have frustrated the youths to behave as such.
“On two occasions, I have written petitions and protest letters to their office in Ijebu-jesa on their staffers’ immoral behaviours in my late father’s house in Ilare, Obokun Local Government Area. I also called the IBEDC PRO, Miss Kike Owoeye and reported the odious behaviours of the company boys to her.
“As a Chief in my town and spokesperson of the Community, we have had cases when the helpless people would come and complain on how they would collect money from them without receipt and thy would go back the third day to cut off the lines of the poor people.
“The issue is that the Management of IBEDC should look beyond the attacks. Let them find out the causes. What do you think will happen to somebody whose source of income depends on the electricity that is not supplied, but a crazy bill is given to him/her to pay for the services not enjoyed. These and many other abnormalities may spur the youth into the attack.
“In as much as I don’t support the attack of the the IBEDC boys should also look into the recklessness of it’s staff and improve on its Services.
Also, Mr Goke Mutiu, said: “while we condemn the act by the irate youths, IBEDC needs to be told that they cause some of these attacks. How would you cheat someone and still expect him to smile at you? Iludun axis has also been in total darkness since it rained cat and dog some days ago.
“Although, poles and tension wires were affected in that area and they are yet to be attended to as I speak. No doubt, the IBEDC is actually waiting for the residents to foot the bill. In an ideal situation, is it not their own responsibility? What if people are pushed to the wall? Are we not going to have the same situation?
On his own, Mr Femi Olanipekun, condemned the attack on IBEDC and cautioned against throwing the entire community into darkness.
He said: “while the attack on IBEDC staff should be condemned in the strongest terms possible, I think it’s absolutely irresponsible of a Public Service Provider to shut down an entire community because of the actions of some deviants.
“How do you justify throwing the entire Ijesaland of about 1 million people into darkness because some youths from Bolorunduro and Olomilagbala assaulted your staff? Why not deal with those communities and the irresponsible youths directly? Why should the people of Imo, Okesa, Ilaje, Oke Omiru, Iloko Ijesa, Ijeda Ijesa, Ijebu Ijesa, Iwoye, Efon Alaaye etc be thrown into darkness for the indiscretion of a few misguided elements from another part of the land? Why? Corporal punishment has no place in a descent and civilized society.
“Were it to be a functional society, for this unfortunate and thoughtless act of theirs, the company will collapse under the weight of class action.
“If we are to go with IBEDC’s logic, if there is a riot today in Oke Baale, Osogbo and a soldier is killed, by tomorrow every able bodied men within Osogbo and it’s environs should be lined up and killed Zaki Biam style? Or are we saying if this had happened in Molete or Monatan, the entire city of Ibadan would have been thrown into darkness for the indiscretion of a few misguided elements?
“This is arrant nonsense and it won’t resolve this matter in anyway. Rather, it will complicate issues.”