…As victims of power surge demand justice
By Tunde Shorunke
The staff of OODUA FM Station have lamented failure of compensation for damages caused by power surge of Ibadan Electricity Distributlion Compsny (IBEDC) in 2018.The power surge had damaged the studio, transmitter worth millions of Naira and building of the FM station commissioned by former Governor Rauf Aregbssola three years ago at Ajebandele community along Ife-Ibadan Expressway in Ife, State of Osun.
This destruction resulted in total collapse of the operation as great percentage of the broadcasting equipment of the station got damaged. It
Recounting the ordeal on Sunday, Head of News Department, OODUA FM Station Miss Folorunsho Martha and the Programme Manager, Miss Damilola Amoo disclosed that the destruction was such a very sad and pathetic loss that left the initiator in a very bad state of mind.
They maintained their commitment to await the reconnection which is now in progress.
“Good news indeed! Several months after the sad and huge loss which was caused as a result of the irresponsible acts of Ibadan Disco, the electricity company sent a mere letter of acknowledgement to the management of Oodua FM that they were aware of the terrible loss at Ajebandele along ibadan road ile ife,” they noted.
However, Damilola said no action was taken by the electricity company to alleviate the silent sufferings and huge loss of these residents even as it badly affected the station which provides the community with 5000kva transformer at no cost to IBDC. She said that an entire edifice housing the FM station and transmitter worth millions of naira were destroyed. “ Only a letter of acknowledgement without appropriate action was seen as evidence of solidarity; what a society we live in, “ she lamented
She added that the IBEDC as a company that operates on commercial basis remain undaunted. Meanwhile OoduaFM is at the moment taking delivery of another set of equipment and at the same time plan is on top gear to engage a new General Manager as the situation forced the then station manager, Mr Babs Daramola, to leave.
According to Martha, “the Chairman is very passionate about this project and as you can see, we are already planning to come out big before the year runs out..Ordinarily, we ought to be celebrating our third year anniversary by now. A new modern studio is now in place and soon we shall kick the ball rolling”.
She noted that it has been a story of tough moments for staff and management of Oodua FM. According to her, the station was established solely for the upliftment and connection of Ile Ife and her environs, has created employment opportunities for indigenes of the state in no small measure and delight of independent broadcasters across the state and beyond.
It would be recall that the radio station was commissioned by former Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who on that commissioning day described it as the best in South West, especially in the state and could boast of quality and competent equipments with a staff strength of 25. Oodua FM has been temporarily off the radio waves as a result of the carelessness and loss it suffered from irresponsible acts of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company which led to the destruction of transmitter worth millions.
The collapsed buildings and affected mast have been fixed while awaiting another set of transmitter that would deliver its primary mandate across Ife and her environs. It is a sorry story that staff of this station are still on the payroll even when they have been off air for more than 7 months now.
In a telephone chat with the Chairman of the company, Hon Rotimi Makinde, he stated and I quote, “all is well indeed, we are on course, soon we shall bounce back and better. It is a baby that is so dear to me and a patriotic dream that i will not allow to die. Please be sure I am not sleeping on the matter. My brother the incidence only coincided with the time my other business interest was also tampered with in Ojodu axis of Ogun state…If you are right there at the station in ile ife, you will see that we have reconstructed the damaged part of the building, build a new studio and we have fixed the mast while we await a new set of equipment which of course are not available in Nigeria. The deed has been done by IBEDC. The company is moving ahead but the victims and casualties of the sad incident caused by the power surge from IBEDC are still crying for justice.”