Ilesha blackout due to damage to infrastructure, attacks of staff ― IBEDC

The Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Ibadan Electric Distribution Company (IBEDC), John Donnachie, has hinted that due to the extensive damage done to IBEDC distribution network infrastructure, specifically the Oke-Omiru injection substation and the accompanying district facilities, power cannot be restored now as hundreds of millions of naira will be required to revamp and rehabilitate the infrastructure.

He said the company has, however, restored power supply to the neighbouring towns with unaffected infrastructures.

Donnachie disclosed this during a media parley with energy reporters in Lagos at the weekend on the reasons why supply to the affected communities will not be achieved soonest.

According to him: “This is the unfortunate aftermath of the crisis and mayhem unleashed in Ilesha about two weeks ago. When a group of hoodlums armed with dangerous weapons like guns, machetes and other sharp objects from Bolorunduro and Olomilagbala communities under Isare Service centre, swooped on our office infrastructures.

“They shot sporadically into the air to create panic and chaos while their operation lasted. They forcefully gained entrance into the cash office, carted away money from our cash collections and took away mobile phones of some of our staff.

“The same group attacked our office at Oke-Omiru. The staff around scampered for safety, then the Business Hub Manager who tried to intervene was slapped severally before he was rescued to his office by a youth leader.

“The hoodlums further proceeded to our Isokun Service unit and wounded some of our staff whilst some properties in the various offices were destroyed and monies carted away.”

The IBEDC boss noted it could not comprehend the cogent reasons behind those spates of orchestrated attacks, robberies and assaults on his staff and infrastructure.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, IBEDC senior officers with some officers from the Police, DSS and NSCDC paid a visit to the palace of Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, the Owa-Obokun of Ijesha land to intimate him of these incidents.

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“He condemned the act in its entirety and charged the security organizations to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to book for such dastardly act. Based on the above developments, we wrote to the Governor of Osun, Mr. Oyetola, on March 18, 2019, to seek his urgent intervention in the matter.

“On the strength of this letter, we were able to embark on an assessment tour in conjunction with government representatives, prominent leaders of Ijesha land and heads of security agencies to ascertain the level of damage.

“The entire team observed that there was deliberate, wanton and senseless damage to equipment, infrastructure, office furniture, vehicles and buildings, like the carnage witnessed on the battlefield,” it said. The company said this was across its facilities at Oke-Omiru Business Hub, Oke-Omiru Injection Substations, Isokun Service Hub, Isare and Ilaje Service Hubs.

“We wish to state that we have experienced same kind of attack in February 2016 and it took the intervention of the state government to restore normalcy. It is becoming apparent that these attacks on IBEDC are deliberate and intentional which portends that Ilesha is prone to violence and unrests, even though we operate in Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Osun, part of Ekiti, Kogi and Niger States with minimal upheavals,” he said.

He said IBEDC as a business is currently operating at a great loss because Ilesha community is indebted to the company at a huge sum of N3.7billion.

“I hereby say it succinctly that IBEDC is a customer-centric company with core values of excellence, innovation, integrity, dependability and teamwork.

“We hold our customers in high esteem and amongst other measures, we hold several weekly community engagements, run sponsored radio and television programmes across our franchise where we educate and engage customers and stakeholders on issues concerning our business operations.

“These platforms were introduced to serve as a feedback mechanism for our customers to engender better service delivery,” he said.