By Pounah Dennis
Ese- Odo Local Government Area is located at the coastal area of Ondo State in the Niger Delta Region with the Headquarters at Igbekebo. The Local Council area was created in 1996 by the then military government.
It comprises the Arogbo Ijaws and the Ijaw Apois who are the only non Yorubas by origin in the Yoruba dominated sunshine state, who immigrated from the present Bayelsa State through the coastal line of the Niger Delta.
A local council of over two decades has never experienced electricity supply since its existence even before the area was carved out from the then Ilaje/Ese-Odo local government.
It is a known fact that a man or woman of 50-100 years of age who has not travelled out of the shore of the council area especially from the Arogbo axis to the cities knows little or nothing about national grid or better still NEPA as it is popularly called in Nigeria.
To the glory of God, under the leadership of Dr. Olusegun Agagu of blessed memory at the Ministry of Power and Steel, the Apoi axis was connected to the national grid which gave electricity supply to Igbobini, Igbotu, Sabomi etc. But for over a decade now, the said towns are in natural darkness.
The residents of the local council area powers their houses and business ventures with generators as no one loves darkness in life, and that, they do at a very high side of cost, most especially the residents of the riverine communities where there are no petrol stations but the popularly known ‘Black Markets’ in the oil and gas business.
This is to the best of my knowledge and experience as a little boy who attended primary and post primary schools at Opuba and Bolowoghu towns in Arogbo axis in the late 80s and early 90s to date.
In fact, I am writing this experientially and experimentally as far as electricity supply is concerned in Ese-Odo.
One thing that baffles me or caught my imagination which, I can’t phantom is that, the council area is been represented at all levels of government since the country returned to civil rule in 1999 but nothing is done.
The elected/appointed representatives from the council area at the National Assembly and at the State Government level fail to come to the aid of the suffering populace.
These are towns and villages that ballot boxes and other electoral materials can get to during elections but electricity supply is a forbidden thing.
This is obscure to me. Life in Ese-Odo made me to constantly remember the aphorism that says “One half of the world can’t understand the pleasures of the other”.
I wish to through this medium call the attention of the Governments (State and Federal) and representatives of the people at all levels that electricity supply is a mystery to the people of Ese-Odo for ages as they see it in other parts of Nigeria.
And it is not forbidden to them. It is an untold story to everyone that electricity supply aids or boosts the socioeconomic activities of people at in every clime where it is erected, so Ese-Odo residents shouldn’t be deprived of this right.