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Darkness envelopes sunshine state

  •  as Ondo youths demand electricity in homes, not generator powered street lights

The Ilaje Advancement Forum (IAF), a youth group in riverine communities in Ondo State, has condemned efforts by Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) to use generator to power street lights in their communities.

They said that they would rather want electricity provided in their homes through the national grid.

Mr Oluwajuwon Daudu, the Publicity Secretary of the forum, made the demand in Akure on Tuesday.

OSOPADEC, about a month ago, commenced powering street lights in Igbokoda communities by diesel generator to check the consistent power outage in the area for over 10 years.

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, last year at the second National Council on Niger Delta organised by the Ministry of Niger Delta in Igbokoda, had lamented the consistent power outage and infrastructure in riverine communities in the state.

The youth forum, however, said that it was not impressed by the current efforts of OSOPADEC to use generator to power the street lights in the communities as the exercise would only amount to a “waste of time and resources.”

“The recent attempt to hoodwink the good people of Ilaje Local Government by lighting up the street leading to Igbokoda with diesel powered generator is a waste of time and resources.

“It is a disgrace that we have interventionist agencies which are supposed to be catering for our needs, but prefer to embark on ghost projects and stomach infrastructure projects.

“It can only be described as satanic if OSOPADEC’s solution to the cry of the Ilaje people for electricity is buying of diesel to power a mere 88 poles of dilapidated street lights for 55 communities spread across a land mass of about 4,000 km.

“We view this ill conceived gesture as an insult on the sensibilities of over 300,000 peace loving inhabitants of the local government,” it said.

The forum appealed to the state government and other interventionist agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to end the 10 years of power outage by bringing public electricity back to their homes.

“This is the right time for NDDC to perform its interventionist responsibility and help in reconnecting the national grid to the only local government that has been producing oil in the South West until Lagos joined her recently.

“We are appealing to all stakeholders involved in this injustice and marginalisation to immediately return Ilaje and the four other local governments involved to the national grid and shouldn’t stretch our patience further.

“This is the only condition that will allow the conduct of the 2019 general elections to take place in our local government area,” the forum warned.(NAN)

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