Protesters Storm Asaba BEDC Office, Accuse Business Manager Of Corruption

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A mass protest erupted on Thursday at the Asaba office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), by residents of Bonsac, near Asaba, Aniocha North local government area of Delta over what they called sharp practices and alleged fraud by the Business Manager, BEDC, one
Engineer Abiodun.

The angry residents who stormed the Asaba District Office, BEDC, located
along Anwai Road also accused the Manager of frustrating all efforts to supply power to the area after allegedly collecting over N1 million from them to fix their faulty transformer.

The protesters it was gathered besieged and barricaded the entrance gate of BEDC’s District Office, demanding to speak with the Business Manager over alleged sharp practices.

The protesters claimed they have been experiencing total blackout since
December, 2016, alleging that the Business Manager told them that their transformer was faulty and needed to be repaired with the sum of N1.2 million, saying they contributed the said amount by tasking each house in the community N5, 000 in order to fix the faulty transformer, but to their utter dismay, there was still no electricity supply after many weeks.

The protesters further accused the Business Manager of non-prepaid metering, outrageous estimated billing and bullying of consumers through threat to cut of power supply.

The spokesperson for the protesters, Mr. Emmanuel Ayuda, alleged that when they confronted the Business Manager why there was still no power supply to the area after fixing the transformer, the manager allegedly told them that they would suffer total blackout for months as their punishment for not contracting the repair of the transformer to him, “That there will be no supply of power for the next eight months”.

Mr Ayuda lamented that Mr. Abiodun did not inform them of his intention to carry out the repair contract, disclosing that two different groups through their elders had allegedly given bribe in the sum of N250, 000 and N400, 000 to some top officials of the BEDC and they were supplied power for only one to two weeks at two occasions after which the supply of power was cut off till date.

He alleged that the Business Manager threatened to frustrate residents of Bonsac community over power supply unless they come to re-contract the N1.2 million repair of the transformer to him.

The protest which disrupted official activities prevented staff and customers from coming in and going out of the Asaba District Office of BEDC complex with chanting and singing “Business Manager you must address us openly today o!” And other solidarity songs.

HardReporters learnt that the arrival of men of the Nigerian Police Force with a Federal Highway Patrol van with registration number: NPF 6748C could not prevent the protesters from protesting after several guns to compel the aggrieved protesters to open the gate.

An appeal by the leader of the team, Inspector Udin Ogheneochuko, to the protesters to open the small entrance gate for him to enter and address them did not yield any positive result.

It however took the intervention of another police team police led by one DSP Ukadike Chuks and one SP Nwede. J. Ogobuchi who came at the same time with an ash colour Toyota Camry with registration number: Edo State, FUG-447A to compel the angry protesters to open one side of the gate.

All our efforts to reach the Business Manager for comment proved abortive even
as staff of BEDC turn down request for comment.

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