It was just like a scene out of an action movie when about 6 soldiers attached to the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala Barracks, Abeokuta, Ogun State and led by one Major Musa, stormed the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company ( IBEDC ) substation – Olumo business hub, Rounder – on March 6 and beat up Salau Adekunle, the man on duty, over poor power supply.
Workers of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company say they have become fearful in their office when the soldiers descended on Adekunle, the substation’s distribution officer, with horse whips, because, presently on the average, the barracks and environs get 5 hours supply daily, which falls short of the soldiers’ expectation.
“They told me to get up and without explanation, they started beating me. They complained that they did not get supply regularly, but it is not our fault. They said they would be the ones to determine the number of hours they want power. We told them it was not possible, but they didn’t want to listen.”
Corroborating the story, Adekunle’s colleague, said, “Electricity supply is divided into 3 levels – generation, transmission and distribution.
This implies that generation affects transmission, which in turn affects distribution. “If there is less sufficient generated power, then there will be less power at our own side to distribute to the community, including the barracks.
Before now, there was supply for at least 8 hours and at times, 15 hours. Electricity generation has reduced from 4517MW to 2800MW and now to over 1500MW. “All this is known and understood by the soldiers, but they pretend as if they do not know; that is why they now get 5 hours’ supply per day.
Initially, the soldiers blamed us. Soon, it graduated to threats. They once arrested us and took us to their barracks and detained us for hours; l was a victim.”
Another official said they had been living in fear since the incident happened, adding that threats from the soldiers had intensified.
“They said it would not be threats again, but killing. Major Musa said he would send soldiers we don’t know. We spoke out because we cannot wait for them to kill us.