Muric
Prof Ishaq Akintola

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the performance of electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) as disappointing.

Reports had last week emerged of demonstrations held by the Ishashi Community of Lagos State against Eko Electricity Development Company over ‘crazy bills’ and poor power supply.

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In a statement on Monday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, Muric accused Discos of working at cross-purposes with the Federal Government (FG).

The statements read: “We can confirm as eye-witnesses since MURIC’s headquarters is based in one of the communities at the receiving end of one of the DISCOs, namely EKDEC. Iba area of Lagos State receives the worst treatment. Apart from ‘crazy bills’, the lights are never supplied throughout the night. People sleep in darkness. They are exposed to the terrible heat and mosquitoes.

“Many transformers have been vandalized and the vandals operate under cover of darkness. All appeals to EKDEC to ensure that light is supplied at night have fallen on deaf ears. Apart from that, armed robbers seize the opportunity of all-night darkness to terrorise the neighborhood. This would not have been so easy for the hoodlums if there is power supply at night.

“Resolutions reached at the meetings of the communities urging the DISCO to supply electricity at night for security reason have been ignored to date although the resolutions were communicated to EKDEC. This company has constituted itself into a government within a government. It is very insensitive, sadistic and recalcitrant.

“Iba area is a university community where lecturers and students reside in large number yet the DISCO has failed to take this factor into consideration. Students must study. They must also do their assignments. The lecturers too must research. They also have students’ projects, dissertations and theses to peruse and correct. How do they do all these in darkness?

“The case of Lagos State University (LASU) is pathetic. Although the university’s visionary, purposeful and dynamic leadership has taken the university to world class status with several initiatives, lack of regular power supply constitutes a potent threat to the sustenance of LASU’s current enviable status.

“In an effort to ensure regular power supply on Ojo campus, the University management spends a humongous amount every month on diesel and maintenance of the big generators which are installed all over the campus. This eats deep into the coffers of the university.

“Apart from students who are in the hostel and who must use electricity at night, LASU students also read on campus during the night and this poses another big challenge. EKDEC’s diabolical policy of ‘no electricity at night’ in Iba area makes this a serious challenge to the university administration.

“It is the height of sadism to give consumers light in the daytime only. People have the opportunity to go outside on the veranda or balcony for fresh air if there is no light during the daytime. They can even take a strol or sit under a tree outside but they dare not attempt that luxury at night for obvious reasons. They are stuck indoors during the night and that is the time they really need electricity. Unfortunately that is the time EKDEC has sworn never to supply electricity to consumers in Iba area.

“People in the area are wondering what is amiss? Of course this is Nigeria and you have to open your eyes properly. Is EKDEC colluding with some companies who need electricity in the daytime to power their industrial machines? We really have no objection to this because it will aid the country’s quick industrialization and technological growth but this must not be done at the expense of poor consumers”

Akintola said: “EKDEC treats consumers in high brow areas like Ikoyi with special respect but treats those in Iba area with contempt. That is class segregation. Consumers have been compartmentalized into ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. EKDEC’s consumers are in an Animal Farm scenario with its crooked ‘four legs good, two legs better’ mantra.

“MURIC appeals to the honourable Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to come to our aid. We are really suffering. It is high time FG called the bluff of the DISCOs. If it is true that the contract of the DISCOs will be expiring this month (November 2018), we strongly advise that the contracts should be revoked. These DISCOs are not on the same page with the current administration. They are cogs in the wheel of progress. Let them go back to their avariciously gluttonous politicians and the superfluouly voracious capitalist bourgeoisie.

“For the sake of microscopic clarity, we affirm that the concern of the Muslim Rights Concern is the welfare of the masses.”