Residents of Ganaja area of Lokoja on Thursday besieged the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Area Office to protest alleged exorbitant and estimated billings and general inefficiency of the company.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the angry protesters, in their hundreds, had earlier locked the Ganaja office of the company and matched to the Area office on IBB way, Central Area of Lokoja to register their displeasure.
The protesters listed the alleged sins of the company to include estimated billing, over-billing, non-reading of meters, poor electricity supply, lack of prepaid meters and constant harassment by AEDC officials.
NAN reports that the protest started at 8 a.m. and that placard carrying youths and women took over the ever busy IBB Way, leading to the diversion of vehicles.
Some of the placards read “AEDC, Enough is Enough”, “Engr. Oluwatoyin Junaidu Must Go”, “AEDC Worst Disco in Nigeria” among many other inscriptions.
Liman Ishaq, a community leader in Ganaja and spokesman of the protesters, said that power supply to Ganaja had been become epileptic since the deployment of the Area Manager, Oluwatoyin Junaidu, to Kogi over four months ago.
Ishaq noted that in spite of complaints from Ganaja and other residents of Lokoja metropolis, no positive change had been observed as electricity supply remained at its lowest ebb.
“Aside the exorbitant billing, Ganaja has never had it so bad,” he said.
James Olayemi, an Engineer in the company, who addressed the prostesters on behalf of the management, assured the protesters that their complaints would be addressed.
He appealed for calm and patience on the part of the protesters, promising improved power supply.
Meanwhile, men of the Nigerian Police who arrived two hours into the protest, shot teargas and fired gunshots into the air to disperse the protesters.
In response, the protesters threw stones at the police.
However, normalcy returned to the area after about three hours of lock-down of the AEDC area office and the major road.