The Management of Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) has honoured Idahagbon Community in Oko central area of Benin, Edo State for its role in the arrest and prosecution of two electricity vandals.
The firm, therefore, urged other communities to emulate and exhibit such responsibility so that vandalism will be eradicated from the power sector in general and BEDC network in particular.
Managing Director/CEO, BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu disclosed this at an appreciation ceremony organized to honour the community leaders and youths who caught the vandals and handed them over to the police for prosecution.
In a statement, the company said that even though it is the responsibility of distribution companies (Discos) or law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of electricity equipment such as transformers, the best situation will exist when communities take up responsibility and become vigilant over power equipment within their neighbourhood.
“We will all sink and be swallowed by this monster (vandalisation) if we fold our hands and say or do nothing about it.
Yes, some might argue that it is the responsibility of the DISCOS or law enforcement agencies to ensure that this equipment is safe and free from vandalisation. We and the law enforcement agencies have accepted this responsibility but even at that, the truth is that the police and BEDC cannot be everywhere we have transformers,” remarked the MD who was represented by Chief State Head, Edo, Engr Fidelis Obishai.
Mrs. Osibodu pointed out that despite an average of less than 4,000MW of electricity generated daily which was not enough, leading to load shedding amongst the generality of Nigerians, still some communities were deprived of their share because of those who vandalize transformers and other installations and others who engage in form of bypass or the other.
While commending the Idahagbon community for the vigilance work over BEDC network the MD presented them with two cartons of energy saving bulbs saying it will help them pay less for power usage.
It will be recalled that BEDC won the war against electricity vandals as two transformer vandals, John Joshua aged 25 years and Yakubu Irish, also aged 28 years, were apprehended by community members while vandalizing a transformer located at off Oko Central Road, Benin City, Edo State recently.
The two vandals caught in the act by members of the Idahagbon Community in Oko central area of Benin have been sentenced to six months imprisonment after arraignment on a two-count charge of “malicious damage and stealing” at Oredo Magistrate Court before Chief Magistrate I.U. Iyoha (Mrs.).
BEDC reportedly followed up with the Police for proper investigation and necessary action following the arrest of the vandals by the Police with charge No MOR/133C/17. The two pleaded guilty and were convicted to imprisonment.