Ojelabi was in Oriade Local Government Area to re-affirm the government’s commitment to the well-being of its residents. He reassured the people of the government’s interest in their welfare. This raised the residents’rale.
The communities he visited had been in darkness for six years.
About 10 of these riverside communities are said to have been without light for this long due to damage of the old electricity facility that supply light to the communities. The state government has embarked on a new electricity project in the area. A woman was said to have stalled the project on the grounds that it encroached on her land.
In a chat with Newsextra, the commissioner said that his team was in the riverside areas to inspect the extent of work done on the project and why it was stopped, with a view to proffering a solution to the problem.
He said: “Our visit is aimed at affording us the opportunity of assessing what the situation really looks like. And from what we have seen, I don’t think it’s a problem that cannot be solved. It’s just a matter of involving the Ministry of Works, Ministry of Water Front and the woman concerned who, allegedly, is not really co-operating with the government.
“We decided to come together and see how best we can solve this problem.
You can imagine the number of communities that have been in darkness for close to six years. The interest of members of the communities is paramount to government.
“This is so because it is government’s responsibility to cater for the people; and if that is the business of government, I think we have to sit down and seek ways of solving the problem as soon as possible.
“We need to discuss with the woman and know what her grievances are. I believe that the most important thing is to find solution to the problem of the affected communities being without light for about six years; by restoring electricity supply to them. That should be our priority for now.
“The communities should be hopeful that very soon, the era of being in darkness would be over. I am confident on this judged from the type of government they have. It is a government that is people-oriented. We will put everything at our disposal to make sure that the people are happy.”
The chairman of the council, Hon. Ibrahim Babatunde Sanusi told Newsextra that he was happy that the Commissioner for Rural Development came to see things for himself. He further said that “we have explained to him why there was stoppage in the execution of the electricity project. We are worried that 10 riverside communities have been in darkness for six years,” even as he praised them for their patience. He stated that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is a party that does not renege on its promises to the electorate.
“Our great party the (ACN) promised to provide amenities for the people’s well-being of which the provision of electricity was part of. That could be why Governor Fashola sent the commissioner to see things for himself. His visit has afforded him the opportunity to assess the problem; and I believe that as he has seen things for himself, action would be taken and the contractor handling the project would return to site. I believe that soon light would be restored to the affected communities. We are anxious that this project is completed as soon as possible,” he said.
The Head, Electricity Committee of the 10 affected communities Hon. Tajudeen Akunyanmi said the woman allegedly prevented the contractor handling the project from completing the work because the project was sited on her land. He also said that she was invited to meet with the Commissioner for Rural Development for discussion on the possibility of resolving the matter which she allegedly declined.
The communities that have been in darkness for six years are Ikare; Irede; Iyagbe; Ibasa; Ibeshe; Ilashe; Imore; Igboishi; Igboeseyore and Igbologun.