The Ekosodin Residents and Students Protest Committee (ERSPC) has announced planned to organised a mass protest on August 4th, 2023, to shutdown the office of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
The protest is in response to a prolonged power outage that has negatively affected the living and learning conditions in the Ekosodin community for over a month.
The Meridian Spy reports that Ekosodin is a community located near the University of Benin, and is primarily occupied by a large population of students. The community has been shaped and influenced by the presence of the university, with thousands of students residing in the area.
According to the statement released by the Committee, the aim of the protest is to demand a minimum of 15 hours of electricity per day. The EKOSODIN back-gate has been picked as the convergence point for the protest, starting at 6 AM.
In order to maintain orderliness, the organizers have stated that participants must present a valid means of identification confirming their status as either a student of the University of Benin or a resident of the Ekosodin community. Those without proper identification will not be permitted to join the protest.
The Committee emphasizes the importance of conducting the protest peacefully and maintaining order throughout. Their goal is to hold BEDC accountable for the extended period of darkness experienced in the community.
To garner support, the Committee scheduled several meetings to hold at the Ekosodin Backgate from August 1st to August 3rd, at 4 PM. These meetings are intended to mobilize students in Ekosodin and neighboring areas to participate in the peaceful protest.
The organizers have called on students to participate in large numbers and assert their right to electricity. They emphasize that both Nigerian students and residents of Ekosodin, including traders, should have access to reliable electricity. They argue that this is essential for optimal learning conditions for students and for maintaining a thriving local economy and comfortable living standards. They reject the idea of living without electricity and instead promote the importance of embracing and enjoying the benefits of electricity.
The Committee’s statement concludes with their determination to stand up for their rights and bring attention to the persistent power outage in the Ekosodin community