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9 August 2017

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RESIDENTS OF AJAO ESTATE SAYS ISSUE PREPAID METER OR NO DISCONNECTION

By Fidel Davynovich

People of Ajao Estate, Lagos, on Sunday 18 June, 2017 held a Town Hall meeting to deliberate the crazy billing issued to them by Ikeja Distribution Company, and for them to agitate for no disconnection in the Estate.

Groups and organizations which have helped organize people to peacefully resist disconnection and demand prepaid meters in other parts of Lagos were also invited. They were invited to share their experiences and thumb their solidarity for the efforts in Ajao Estate.

Organizations like Mafoluku Community Association, Okota Community Association, Ago United-Okota Community Development, Ajegunle Peoples' Movement, Joint Action Front and Democratic Socialist Movement were all in attendance.

More than 59 persons were present in the meeting. Pensioners, old people and the youths, workers, community leaders and students all assembled to concretely advance the struggle and agitation through tactical discussions and possible way forward.

Posters demanding that the electricity company mustn't disconnect but provide prepaid meters were already pasted in each residential building to embolden the residents so as to further strengthen the campaign with a united force. People are enlightened on their right to electricity and urged to peacefully resist disconnection and reject crazy bills.

At the Town Hall Meeting, banners of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) calling for AJEGUNLE STAND UP AGAINST DARKNESS and Ago United-Okota Community Development (AUCD) were displayed respectively at the venue ground. Passersby in the estate were gravitated towards the demands in each banner, which equally raises the demands of the ongoing struggle of people in Ajao Estate/community.

Activists and community leaders who spoke applauded the people of Ajao Estate for organizing such a meeting and also, organizing a protest weeks earlier to register their grievances over the crazy billing issued to them. Again, how they have been able to collectively resist the electricity companies peacefully from disconnecting them.

Experiences were shared by those who spoke like Mr. Lawal Okudayo (Chairman Mafoluku Community), Dagga Tolar (Acting General Secretary of Democratic Socialist Movement, DSM), leaders of Forum for Evolution and Progressive Development (FEPD), Mr. kazeem Iyadoye (Okota Community leader and LASU Student Unionist), Achike Chude (Deputy Chair Joint Action Front, JAF) and others.

Comments and contributions were all offered on to further deepen the struggle. From the quality solidarity perspective given, the issue of intensifying campaign, production of leaflets and flex banners, proper education of people in the estate to know their electricity consumer rights and action committee to monitor the operations of electricity company were all thoroughly discussed as proposals and adopted for way forward.

Copies of the leaflets on the electricity crisis in Nigeria and the failure of the Buhari capitalist oriented government to resolve the power sector through privatization were circulated.

Privatization isn't working, and for prepaid meter and regular power supply to be guaranteed not only for domestic use but also to boost industrialization and job opportunities the nationalization of the power sector under democratic control and management of workers and consumers is the only way forward.

This point was clearly made by Dagga Tolar in his solidarity perspective in the meeting. Members of Democratic Socialist Movement from Ajegunle, who were also in the meeting, engage some of the attendees to buy our paper Socialist Democracy Sixteen copies of the paper were sold and appeal was made to join us and read more about us on http://www.socialistnigeria.org.