The struggle of Mushin residents against the fraud of estimated billing and illegal disconnections, and for regular and affordable electricity supply has been met with harsh repression by the state.
At the request of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), several community activists in the area have been arrested since the 16 April protest at the EKEDC headquarters in Marina, by officers from the Olosan divisional police headquarters.
Barely a week after activists won the release of Moses Ogunleye, two other residents have been arrested for mobilising the community towards the Lagos state-wide mass action being organised for 17 June.
Osinowo Adesanya and Agharigidoma Salman were arrested on 11 June and have been remanded in Kirikiri maximum security prison for no just cause. They are community activists who are leaders of the Mushin-based Advocacy for Anti-Bribery, Corruption, and Crime Prevention Unit.
Socialist Workers and Youth League, and United Action for Democracy have both condemned these arrests and tyrannical detentions in press statements released by both organisations (see the statements below).
We call on workers, youth, women, trade unions, civil society organisations, community-based associations and all well-meaning people to demand the immediate release of the two comrades and protest the continued harassment of community-based activists in the area. Call the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), DSP Arogbo to express your displeasure and press home the demand for Osinowo Adesanya and Agharigidoma Salman to be released immediately!
SWL PRESS STATEMENT
FREE ADESANYA AND SALMAN NOW! FIGHT FOR ELECTRICITY FOR ALL!!
Socialist Workers and Youth League condemns the arrest and detention Osinowo Adesanya and Agharigidoma Salman, who are both community activists in the Mushin area of Lagos and call for their immediate and unconditional release.
These activists have done nothing wrong. Their “crime” is to organise and demand an end to the fraudulent practices of estimated billings and illegal disconnections by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and other Distribution Companies (DISCOs).
The people of Mushin community have been fighting back, in resist to these illegalities being perpetuated by EKEDC, which have adverse consequences on the poor working-class people living there.
EKEDC understands the role these activists play in the struggle for better electricity and has done everything possible to crush their struggle, using the police force. Policemen from the Olosan Police Station under the leadership of the DPO, DSP Arogbo, have been central to this repression.
The continued harassment of community activists by the DISCOs, particularly EKEDC, using the police will fail. The activists are fighting a just cause and their communities are solidly behind them. They realise that Adesanya, Salman and several other youths who have led demonstrations where thousands of residents marched against the exploitative crazy bills of the DISCOs are leading a struggle against exploitation and oppression.
The arrest and detention of Osinowo Adesanya and Agharigidoma Salman is illegal and we call for their immediate and unconditional release.
The DISCOs, GENCOs and bosses’ State in Nigeria have failed the people hence we urge the popular masses, trade unions, informal workers’ organisations and poor farmers to join the 17th June 17th mass action against estimated billing and for re-nationalisation of the power sector. Together we will organize a national campaign for the provision of electricity to all as a fundamental human right.
STOP THE UNWARRANTED ARRESTS OF MUSHIN RESIDENTS
(Being a press text of the United Action for Democracy (UAD)
We in the UAD have been watching the situation in Mushin, Lagos where DSP Arogbo;the Divisional Police Officer in Olosan police station has been collaborating with the management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKODISCO) to victimize residents who are legitimately enforcing the letters of the NEPA Act.
We in UAD call for the immediate release of Osinowo Ademola Adesanya and Agbarigidoma Salman who are leaders of the Mushin-based Advocacy for Anti-Bribery, Corruption, and Crime Prevention Unit.
We remember that the same DPO also facilitated the arrest and detention of Moses Ogunleye unlawfully last week.
UAD wants to remind DSP Arogbo and such other cruel police officers to stop their attacks on the democratic rights of the people. We cannot be forced to be paying for darkness by any gluttonic individuals or grouping. Those who live on tyranny have their place in the dustbin of history.
We also call for the reversal of all the licenses of the GENCOs and DISCOs immediately. The private sector has shown that it only cares about profiteering at the expenses of our humanity.
We in UAD call for the immediate re-nationalisation of electricity and such other commanding heights of the economy to be put under the democratic management of workers.
Release Osinowo and Agbarigidoma now. They are never criminals. It is the exploitative EKOdisco that has been criminally profiting on services never rendered!
June 11, 2019.