By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Landlords and landladies resident in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest against the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) over what they termed ‘over-billing’.
The protesters, who operated under the auspices of Ado Ekiti Landlords and Ladies Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria (ALLECA), accused the company of demanding the sum of N40,000 from landlords before proving prepaid meters, describing the action as tantamount to fraud and extortion.
The protesters, led by the Chairman of the association, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, started the protest march from the popular Okeyinmi junction via Ijigbo roundabout and converged on the BEDC’s office in Ado Ekiti.
Some of the placards they displayed included: ‘BEDC, Stop Oppressing Us,’ ‘We are tired of your Fraudulent Action’, ‘No Be Only Snake Dey Swallow Money, EFCC Must Probe BEDC’, ‘No Pre-paid Meters, No Payment’, ‘Stop Extorting Us, BEDC Staff are Thieves’, among others.
They chanted various songs to deride BEDC and other landlords, including commercial motorcyclists and drivers joined them on the way as the procession progressed.
There were massive deployment of policemen, men of the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to forestall hooligans from hijacking the protest.