The Managing Director of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Mr John Donnachie, said the company could not restore power to Ilesha District, due to the extensive damage done to its infrastructure.
Donnachie disclosed this at a news conference with Energy Correspondents in Lagos on Friday.
He said the damage had disrupted supply to the affected communities, noting that power to the affected areas might not be restored soonest.
He said specifically that in the Oke-Omiru injection substation and the accompanying district facilities, power could not be restored immediately, as it would require millions of naira to revamp and rehabilitate the infrastructure.
He, however, noted that the company had restored power supply to the neighbouring towns not affected by the damage.
According to Donnachie, this is the unfortunate aftermath of the crisis and mayhem unleashed on 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 the office infrastructure.
“They shot sporadically into the air to create panic and chaos while their operations lasted.
“They forcefully gained entry into the cash office, carted away money from our cash collections and took away mobile phones of some of our staff members.
“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 several times before he was rescued by a youth leader.
“The hoodlums then 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,” he said.
The company noted it could not adduce cogent reasons behind these spate of orchestrated attacks, robberies and assaults on its 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, Owa-Obokun of Ijesha land, to intimate him of these incidents.
“He condemned the act in its entirety and charged the security organisations to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to book for the act.
“Based on the above development, we wrote to the Gov. Gboyege Oyetola of Osun State on March 18, 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 a deliberate, wanton and senseless damage to equipment, infrastructure, office furniture, vehicles and buildings, like the carnage witnessed on the battlefield,” he said.
Donnechie said the damage took place at Oke-Omiru Business Hub, Oke-Omiru Injection Substations, Isokun Service Hub, Isare and Ilaje Service Hubs.
“We wish to state that we 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 unrest, we also operate in Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Osun, part of Ekiti, Kogi and Niger States with minimal upheavals,” he said.
He said sequel to the assessment tour, the company had written to the governor of Osun on its findings and requested the government and the indigenes of Ilesha to financially facilitate the needed repairs for the restoration of electricity supply to Ilesha.
“IBEDC as a business is currently operating at a great loss; moreover, the Ilesha community is indebted to the company to the tune of N3.7 billion.
“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, among other measures.
“We hold several weekly community engagements, run sponsored radio and television programmes across our franchise, to educate and engage customers and stakeholders on issues concerning our business operations.
“These platforms were introduced to serve as feedback mechanism for our customers to engender better service delivery,” it said.
The Managing Director said it was also aware of lapses in its service delivery and staff inadequacies, which it was already addressing with utmost dispatch through training, education and the application of punitive measures and sanctions where necessary.
He, however, appealed to its customers to join IBEDC in this fight through whistle blowing and reporting of staff infractions.