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Sallah holidays: Ikeja Electric throws parts of Lagos capital into darkness, residents lament

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Residents of parts of Ikeja, Lagos State capital, have been groping in total darkness for the past three days.

According to residents in the affected areas, there has not been light since the heavy downpour of Saturday which commenced the Eid el Fitri festival of the Muslim faithful around the world.

Information gathered by The Frontier shows that businesses in the affected areas, especially Ojodu, are running aground, more so, with the cut throat cost of fuel used to run generating sets.

A cold room operator who pleaded for anonymity for fear of victimisation by officials of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company, IKEDC, said her business is suffering due to the power cut off.

“This is one of the peak periods of our business. Shortly before the Sallah holidays, we had stocked up because we anticipated high demand, but the power cut has thrown us into confusion as much of our products are on the verge of getting spoiled. We’ve been running generator since Saturday. But how much fuel can one possibly buy these days, and what is the profit margin? If we had foreseen this power cut, we wouldn’t have stocked up this much,” Mrs Azuka (not real name) lamented.

A hair dresser in the area, Bukola was almost in tears when she narrated her own experience. According to her, any festive period and accompanying public holidays is always business period for people in her type of business but with the ongoing power cut by IKEDC, her business has not been the same.

“I have been running my small generator since Saturday when Ikeja Electric refused to give us light. I’m tired of buying fuel and engine oil. Besides, even the generator has broken down. Many customers have been coming but what can I possibly do without light? It is devastating. I don’t know why government is yet to withdraw the license issued to Ikeja Electric Distribution Company. The outfit is just not performing,” said Bukola.

A Muslim faithful in the area who identified himself simply as Alhaji Dauda, was very bitter with the power situation in the area. He claimed the power issue has always been there and the distribution company is not competent to handle it.

“My pain is, how can one celebrate Sallah with his family and friends without light? I slaughtered two rams on Saturday, my plan was to preserve some parts so we can use them throughout the holidays. But I had to quickly give out the meat because it was getting bad due to the power cut. I asked my children to take the remaining parts to the cold room, but the operator of the cold room was in same dilemma. We took back the meat and boiled it. And we’ve kept boiling it for the past three days. It’s only in this kind of country that light will go off for close to 72 hours and nothing is done about it. What is Ikeja Electric Distribution Company actually doing with the license the federal government issued to them? I don’t think that outfit is competent,” said Dauda.

A call by The Frontier to IKEDC business manager in charge of Ikeja area, Mrs Nneka Vivien Nwosu, to comment on the prolonged power cut did not go through.

Our correspondent however cited a short message sent out by the power distribution outfit to its customers in the affected areas concerning the problem.

The sms sent out on Sunday at exactly 12.25pm reads:

“Dear Customer, the current supply interruption is as a result of fault on the feeder supplying your vicinity. Our Engineers are currently working to resolve this. Please be assured that supply will be restored as soon as the fault is cleared.

Thank you for allowing us serve you.”

As at the time of going to press with this report this Monday morning, the area was still in complete darkness.

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