Ten years of power outage in a community that houses a major source of revenue to the government truly calls for a road block.

Ilaje, a riverine community in Ondo State is blessed with crude oil which has enabled the state to partake in the dividend of an oil producing state by the federal government.

But on the contrary, indigenes of the community are languishing in pain and poverty resulting from the total neglect by the same government.

Their water is polluted, and their land has been rendered infertile due to the bad effect of crude oil that flows freely on their land.

To worsen their case, power supply, which should have ordinarily been their birth right has become an anathema to them as a result of disregard by government to their plight. For ten years, this community has been plunged into darkness.

But recently, the indigenes of the community rose with one voice to condemn in totality the decade of darkness which they have been thrown into. 

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Thousands of the community youths took to the streets to protest the abnormality with placards that carried various inscriptions such as: “Ilaje: enough is enough; What offence has Ilaje people committed; Ondo State government has failed us; OSOPADEC is fake, NDDC is fraud; No light, no election,” among others.

The protest which lasted for several hours, led to traffic gridlock in the town and paralysed economic activities as the youths embarked on peaceful procession.

The co-convener of the forum, Tokunbo Ehinmowo, decried the deplorable state of the riverine area.

"The Ilaje nation, despite its huge natural resources, is suffering neglect. The unavailability of power had plunged the people into untold hardship for the past 10 years. We have had enough" she said.

Also, one of the group members, Amos Ikusemola lamented that there is dearth in factories and companies that ought to have generated employment for the youths in the community.

"Nothing is working in our community. There is a dearth of industries, factories, prevalence of infrastructural decay, environmental degradation, poor empowerment programmes.

"This is an abysmal failure of our representatives at all levels."

The OSOPADEC chairman, Gbenga Edema, while speaking with a Bounce News correspondent, sympathised with people of the area and assured them that efforts are in top gear by the state government to restore electricity in the senatorial district.

“I sympathise with them and also feel their pains because an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. We agree that electricity is key to development. A lot of our youths who have trained as artisans, need energy to work and we are working to make it available for them" he assured.

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