The laudable electrification project initiated by Hon. Chuks Oseme, Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government Council, in Issele Uku, the headquarters of the LGA, in Delta State, appears to be in serious jeopardy as suspected culprits purportedly identified as staff of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, have been apprehended by the police, allegedly in the process of vandalizing the installation and stealing crucial components from the step down power plant.
Investigation reveal that persons claiming to be officials of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, were caught while carting away equipment from the step down and had confessed that they were acting with the full knowledge of a highly placed Aniocha North Council official, who they affirmed was aware of their act.
Confirming the incident, the Regent in-charge of traditional affairs in Issele-Uku community, headquarters of Aniocha North LGA, Prince Dominick Egbune, while expressing disappointment with the leadership of Aniocha North LGA, as well as the management of the BEDC, affirmed that the youths of the town who had caught the suspected culprits and seized their vehicles, had been very peaceful in their conduct otherwise the alleged vandals would have been lynched before the police intervened in the matter.
The Regent however regretted the hasty decision of the police to release the suspects and hinted that the community may be compelled to take appropriate action against those involved, in order to ensure that this major project which was very dear to the people of Issele uku and has not only stimulated and provided basic infrastructures for industrial growth but has equally impacted positively on the entire population of Issele-Uku and environs, was in line with the SMART agenda of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration.
Meanwhile, the Council Chairman, Hon. Oseme, who was away in Port-Harcourt for the PDP National Convention, when the alleged suspects were apprehended, was said to have had denied any culpability in the claims of purported culpability in the vandalization of the installation, even as feelers from the community suggest that it may not be an ordinary co-incidence that he has been boldly linked in the matter, by the apprehended persons suspected to be BEDC officials.
Recall that Issele-Uku was reconnected to the national grid in September 2015, but was cut-off again in January 2016 with a claim of N20 million debt by BEDC, but all efforts by the community to reconcile accounts with the company proved abortive, as they allegedly maintained that their only customer in Issele-Uku electricity resumption is the Council Chairman, Hon. Chuks Oseme, who facilitated BEDC distribution of electricity to the community.