NEWS DIGEST – Residents of Ganaja area of Lokoja on Thursday stormed the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Area Office to protest alleged exorbitant, estimated billings and general inefficiency of the electricity company.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the angry protesters, in their hundreds, had earlier locked the Ganaja office of the company and marched to the Area Office on IBB way, Central Area of Lokoja to register their displeasure.

The protesters listed the alleged sins of the company to include estimated billing, over-billing, non-reading of meters, poor electricity supply, lack of prepaid meters and constant harassment by AEDC officials.

NAN reports that the protest, which started as early as 8:00 a.m., led to diversion of vehicles, as the ever busy IBB way was taken over by the placard-carrying protesting youths and women in their hundreds.

Some of the placards read: “AEDC Enough is Enough”, “AEDC Worst Disco in Nigeria”, among many others.

Liman Ishaq, a community leader in Ganaja and spokesman of the protesters, said since the deployment of the area manager, Oluwatoyin Junaidu to Kogi over four months ago, power supply to Ganaja had become epileptic.

Ishaq lamented that in spite of complaints from Ganaja and other residents of Lokoja metropolis, there had been no positive response or change of attitude from AEDC as electricity supply remained at its lowest ebb.

He said, “Aside the exorbitant billing by AEDC, Ganaja has never had it so bad.”

James Olayemi, an engineer in the company who addressed the protesters on behalf of the management, assured that their complaints would be looked into for possible amends.

He appealed for calm and patience on the part of the protesters, promising improved power supply.

Meanwhile, men of the Nigerian Police who came two hours into the protest to quell the impasse, shot tear gas and fired gunshots into the air to disperse the protesters.

This, however, was not taken lightly by the protesters as they threw stones at the police.

Normalcy, however, returned to the area after about three hours of lock-down of the area office and the major road. (NAN)