Residents of Ayo-Olorun Estate Bolanle area of Osogbo, Osun State have accused the Ibadan Eletricity Distribution Company Plc (IBEDC) of connivance with night marauders to vandalise a transformer located at zone 4 area of the community.
They made the allegation at a general meeting last Saturday, lamenting it was the second time the same transformer (33/500 KVA) would be vandalised.
Speaking to The Nation after their meeting, chairman of the CDS Dr. Frankline Akinola regretted the community was forced to come to such a conclusion because on the two occasions that the havoc was done, IBEDC officials took away the light to facilitate removal of the vandalised items.
According to him, that cannot be coincidental but a sabotage on the part of some staff of the company because “somebody who did not know the nitty gritty of eletricity cannot just jump inside the transformer fence and removed such a heavy armmoured cable of size 1×500mm2 PVC/SWA and the light was off by IBEDC till the henous crime was perpetrated on two occasions.”
Akinola lamented when the same transformer was vandalised in 2014, the community spent about N400,000 to replace the stolen cables and accessories.
He said to replace it, it will cost the community another N600,000.
“This is not fair to the community putting into cognisance that it was the community who bought the transformer with the help of Community and Social Development Project (CSDP)” in 2012.”
Investigation by the Nation revealed in the last two weeks, transformer vandalisation has been very rampant and some communities like lfon, Erin-osun, Ataoja Estate and ldo- osun areas of the state have been affected.
Speaking to the Nation in her office in Osogbo, the the Regional Communication Manager of IBEDC, Miss Kikelomo Owoeye, who confirmed the vandalisation of some transformers by hoodlums, however exonerated staff of the company of connivance with vandals of transformers, noting it has never happened.
While sympathising with all the communities affected, she said safety of transformers is collective effort, which was why IBEDC has embarked on aggressive elightement campaign with a lot of their customers the need to secure their transformer in their own way.
Owoeye explained that in the past the company used to repair any vandalised transformer but when it became rampant whenever it was fixed back, the company stopped and encourage customers to protect their transformers.
“We used to have a year budget of our operations which did not include that of vandalisation due to the area IBEDC is covering which includes Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti part of Niger and part of Kogi states.
“It would be extremely difficult for us to fix up all vandalised transformers in all these area of operation. That is why we are doing community elightement programmes all over to senticise the people of the community why they have to protect their transformer from night marauders,” she explained.