From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Women of Unguwan Doma Community in Gonin-Gora, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna, Thursday staged a peaceful protest over “living in darkness” and “exorbitant charges” by Kaduna Electric Distribution Company (KEDCO).
The women who took the protest to the KEDCO Office, Federal Housing & Gwagwada Service Centre were chanting songs and raising placards, which among others read, “Exorbitant bill we don’t want”, “We no go gree”, and “give us light and charge us accordingly” complaint of being overcharged, and also when they make payments, the monies paid, were not reflected on their bills.
Speaking with journalists, leader of the protesting women, Mrs. Jemimah James, explained how the community was allegedly going through unnecessary experiences as a result of acts by staff of KEDCO.
She said, “they bring light between 12 noon – 4pm, a time when they know majority of us are not at home. They will not bring it back till around 11pm, or 12 midnight, when we are sleeping. What type of action is this? are they rationing the light, who are they rationing it with?
“Upon all this we are still paying for the light we don’t consume. We can’t take this again, enough is enough!”
She explained how the community through self-effort contributed money and procured a transformer in 2015 and how the community was connected to the national grid in 2016. Prior to that, the community was living without light.
Another protester added, “even the cables belonging to us, which we bought with our own money were taken away by the ‘heartless’ NEPA staff, who do not listen to explanations. And when they are reconnecting, they don’t bring back our ‘good’ wires, they bring old wires to reconnect us back.”
A resident, Mrs Rose said, “they gave us a bill of N75,000.00 last month and they now give us N125,000.00, what is the meaning of this?” she said.
Godwin Abebe, a resident of the community, who showed his bill said, his flat was charged over N22,000.00, saying, “they asked me to write a complain, which I did, I even sent a reminder, but nothing has been done up till now,” he said.
When contacted, Head, Media and Public Relations, Kaduna Electric, Mr. Abdulazeez Abdullai, said, every step will be taken to address the complaints tabled by the women.
He said, “Yes, I’m aware there was a protest by a few people around Gonin-Gora and it was not as if it was a massive protest as such. But that does not mean we are not going to do anything about it. Let them be patient every complaint would be addressed.
“We already have a process to address these issues as you are already aware. We have asked people that have any complaint to make it formal and I want to assure them that all will be treated. They should just be patient,” he said.