Published On: Thu, Sep 30th, 2021

Warri: Ginuwa Residents’ll Remain In Darkness Until Retraction Of Allegation-BEDC Official Vow

LAGOS SEPTEMBER 30TH (URHOBOTODAY)– Despite the untold hardship residents and business owners in Ginuwa community, Warri South Council Area,of Delta State, are currently experiencing following months of blackout, the Business Manager (BM) of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Warri office, Mr Ikenchuku Onuoha, has vowed to ensure they (Ginuwa community) remain in utter darkness until they retract an alleged publication indicting the disco of demanding money to fix their transformer.
Residents of the area had, about a month ago, cried out to the media on the N1.5 million BEDC staff had allegedly demanded through a go-between committee set up to fix the transformer nicknamed ‘Toronto.’
Speaking on the lingering darkness via telephone, on Tuesday, the BEDC, Warri boss affirmed that, he would not allow the residents to effect the repairs until they retracted the publication indicting the power distributor.
The visibly angry BEDC BM, who, however, said no household was tasked any amount to fix the faulty transformer, accused the residents of owing the company to the tune of N16 million.
It was gathered that residents of the area had, late August, contributed the money to fix the faulty transformer, but Mr Onuoha, who has the transformer in custody, has refused to give a go-ahead, saying they must remain in darkness.
“We were in his office, but he chased us out telling us to prepare for more darkness until we counter the publication which we didn’t engineer. Can you imagine a service provider boasting like that?
“He said we should go and publish a retraction in the newspaper that the claim that N1.5m was demanded to fix the transformer was untrue before he’d give us light,” one of the members in the know of the transaction noted in confidence.
Reacting to the allegation that the residents should continue in darkness, Onuoha reiterated his stance on phone, saying “They can’t repair it; they’ll remain in darkness until they refute the publication.”
According to him, “it’s our duty to repair it. They have no right to do so. Though we’ve been doing that before, but we’ve stopped doing it. We’ll fix it when we’re ready.
“We’ve stopped communities from from fixing transformers themselves. We’ll take the matter to Benin.”
Meanwhile, checks revealed that residents of the area are not owing BEDC as alleged by the BEDC boss, just as the residents described the allegation as a ploy to shirk his responsibility.
Further checks on Tuesday revealed that electricity-dependent businesses have crumbled in Ginuwa area which also houses offices of major and online media organizations such as Nigerian Tribune, The Punch, The Pointer and BigPen Online, among others, some of which have paid for the repairs.
The residents called on the BEDC headquarters in Benin City to prevail on Mr Onuoha to allow them fix the transformer as they’d always done in the past.
Nigeria Observer

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