Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Disunity Amongst The Factionalised CDAs Undermines Campaign

(By Chinedu Bosah Coordinator, AICOM)

As power supply to Aboru-Ifesowapo community worsens, the residents have no choice other than to start mass mobilization of the community for a “No Payment of Bill Protest” until Power improves drastically. Power supply to the community has gradually been reduced in the last 5 years. The defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) introduced a rationing of power supply to the entire community. It began with 5 days on, 1 day off; it was later reduced to 4 days on, 1 day off; when the community did not challenge it, it was brought down gradually and systematically to 1 day on, 1 day off. Now power supply to the community is averaged 4 hours in 2 days (48 hours). Since November 1, 2013 when the power sector was privatized, power supply has degenerated in what has made more people to question the workability of privatization. It is becoming obvious to the people that privatization is not the solution unlike what the government made people to belief. Hence, in the coming period, people may be forced to demand re-nationalisation of the energy sector.

Most worrisome is the fact that the billing system is estimated to reap consumers of their hard earned money. PHCN and now the private companies have abandoned reading of meters and have refused to issue pre-paid meters. Another contentious policy is charging consumers N750 as fixed charge. This extortionist policy is being challenged by different communities.

The sensitization and campaign started with a group of community activists who formed a platform known as Akinola-Aboru Community Movement (ABCOM) and later changed to Aboru-Ifesowapo Community Movement (AICOM). This platform widely circulated leaflets that articulated our demands and called for a meeting that was held on January 25, 2014. This mobilization drew the attention of the leadership of the Ifesowapo Community Development Association (CDA) who wanted to know those behind it because some residents went on protest in early 2013 that led to destruction of properties because of poor power supply and the absence of coherent leadership.

The leadership of AICOM was able to assuage their fears through a meeting held on morning of January 25 2014. This led to the overwhelming support AICOM got from Ifesowapo CDAs who also joined in mobilizing the community and also produced 4 banners to aid the sensitization.

At the January 25 meeting despite Nigeria-Morocco football match taking place simultaneously, 70 persons attended, including the Chairman of Peace and Progress CDA, Mr. Sunday Adelaja and the meeting endorsed all AICOM demands. After the meeting ended another crowed of about 50 persons came to the venue.

As a follow up to the mass meeting, another 2000 leaflets were circulated. So far, AICOM members participated in 3 general meetings called by the Ifesowapo Joint CDA leadership while AICOM has also held 6 general meetings. AICOM led a small rally of 15 persons round some streets of Aboru in continuation of the mobilization on Sunday February 9, 2014 and it was well received.

However there is the estranged relationship between Ifesowapo Joint CDAs and Aboru CDA which inflicts serious limitation on the campaign. The former pulled out from the latter last year. Most people within and outside see the community as one. All efforts by AICOM to unite both CDAs towards a united campaign failed as both camps maintained sectarian positions. While Ifesowapo CDA actively joined in the campaign, Aboru CDA distanced itself from the campaign. Indeed, the leadership of Aboru CDA made a failed attempt to incite police to stop the campaign. Nevertheless, AICOM went ahead to run the campaign in all areas of the community using it to unite ordinary residents into defending their rights to improved power supply.

The Ifesowapo Joint CDA met on Feb. 13, 2014 and agreed to suspend the campaign for a period of 3 months based on an unwritten/unsigned understanding reached between it and the Business Manager (BM) of Ikeja Distribution Company (IKEDISCO), which is fallout of a meeting held at the Ipaja office of IKEDISCO on February 12, 2014. Ifesowapo CDA was persuaded by the Business Manager promises and resolved to discontinue the campaign. 3 AICOM members participated at the meeting but were not convinced, and felt it was the same usual promises dished out to the community from time to time. While IKEDISCO like their predecessor claims that they are helpless, the PHCN were able to guarantee a big polythene factory in the community known as Lemmy Poly a minimum of 22 hours power supply daily. A clear case of the richer one is the more attention he or she gets from a capitalist society.

However at a general meeting held on Feb. 16 the AICOM has resolved to suspend active campaign for now in order to harmonise positions of different groups, particularly with Ifesowapo CDA and to work towards re-energizing the campaign after 3 months if IKEDISCO fail to meet our demands.


  • IKEDISCO should immediately end rationing of light and guarantee power supply every day.
  • To abrogate service charge of N750.
  • For IKEDISCO (and by extension other DISCOs and GENCOs) to immediately commence all necessary upgrade of facilities and installation of new ones in order to drastically improve supply of power.
  • For an immediate 18 hours light every day as a step towards uninterrupted 24 hours power supply.
  • IKEDISCO should install pre-paid meters to all consumers to forestall estimated and outrageous bill.
  • No to planned increment in tariff.