"Give Us Phone Services!", 19 Communities In Edo Cry Out
Nineteen communities in Edo State lack phone services, and one will wonder what life will be like in those communities without internet at this time.
They previously had epileptic network, but that has disappeared, forcing them to rely on archaic ways of communication.
They are not willing to continue without telecommunication services at a time internet access on mobile phones is empowering people.
The communities are in Owan West Local Council area of Edo State.
Phone services would link them with the rest of the world, they insist.
The Spokesman for 17 of the 19 communities that make up the Iuleha Clan, Mr Edeki Aigbogun, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Aigbogun said that it had been hectic linking relatives outside the communities in the absence of phone services.
Ukhuse Osi, Obola, Okagboro, Oshofo, Eruere Osi, Oralla, Uruoe, Arokho, Ikhin, Ugbedu, Ago, Ago Igbirra, Ikpeyan 1&2, Ivbieleke, Okeho, Oromen, Ivbiodohen, Oarha and Iloje are the communities.
They have had services from MTN, Glo and Airtel, but it became epileptic before they were totally cut off.
“After a while these networks disappeared and sometimes re-appeared with a bar at night at a particular spot.
“It became difficult to link relatives; the residents in the communities are more that 1.5 million people,” he said.
Aigbodun, a retired staff of First Bank of Nigeria, said that aside from Uzebba, Ivbiuru and Ukhuse Oke where there were telecoms formations, none of the other communities could reach each other.
A leader of the state-assisted vigilance group in the area, Mr Dada Okun, said that curbing crimes in the communities had now become a challenge, due to lack of communication between the members of the vigilante group.
Okun, who resides at Uzebba, said instead of calling his men in the other communities on phone, he had to visit them on daily basis for update on the security situation in the area.
“In most cases, petty thieves have escaped with their loots due to lack of communication,” he said.
The traditional ruler of Eurere, Shagari Oni, says his community will assist any of the network operators wishing to install mast in the area.
“There is a mast at Ukhuse Oke, which is few kilometres away from the other communities, but its capacity and reach are limited,” he stated.
Most times, residents in Eruere have to converge at a place at night where they can get network service to make calls.