FROM THE PREACHER"S LENSES
|Friday, March 20, 2020|
he list of institutions; governmental and nongovernmental, which oppress the common people in this country is endless, particularly, those agencies or corporations, which provide us with one service or the other. Rather than serve us, they rob and rip us to the bone.
The Politicians behave as if the wealth of the nation is for their exclusive use, as if it is their birth right.
But just as the Bible says in Psalm 11:3: If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" It says in the Living Bible "The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?"
Since the club; the government, which is responsible to enforce sanity itself is rotten, who then remains to champion sanity but God's people? And that is all my aim and objective of setting up this ministry, which hammers words, which will turn the hearts of the people to the right and for like minded people of God to join hands with me in the fight against corruption.
The situation in Nigeria for some time now is badly chaotic and fearful.
It is a pain to get any paper processed in the Government offices; Civil Servants many times are difficult. Government Hospitals are not different.
Parents, who have no one to help, pay syndicates, in order to secure admission for their children into tertiary institutions.
Job applicants pay in cash or in kind to get jobs.
To import or export is problematic; the Officers in charge create one bottle neck or the other, all in the bid to extort.
The pain of the Police and others who wear Government uniform is even not to be mentioned.
Let me say however that there are many others among these groups of people, which I have listed who are refined and Godly but unfortunately as the saying goes "It is only one fellow who is blind in a village when the whole village is tagged "The Village of the blind"
The cost of processing a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of a house is enormous. To have electricity after the completion of the house is an excruciating pain, it is like a camel going through the eye of a needle.
The staff of the defunct Nigeria Telecommunication (NITEL) became demi-gods until President Obasanjo pulled the rug under its feet when he made hand-sets available.
The pain of those who supply us with electricity is what I want to comment on today, with prayer to God to deliver us from their rape.
Let us pray.
Prayer against the Oppressors of the masses of Nigeria.
The Crime committed against Nigerians by the company that supplies us with electricity is what I want us to pray about today. Let us ask God to deliver us from its mischief and that God pulls the rug under their feet as He did for the defunct Nigeria Telecommunication Services (NITEL).
So today, I am inviting everyone who uses electricity or about to apply for it to let us cry to God for deliverance from the hands of those who supply us with electricity, particularly the one who operates in my own enclave (Domain), the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC).
NEPA was not delivering, Nigerians cried, so it was privatized. I am yet to see any difference.
Actually there was no reason why NEPA shouldn't perform but for the usual demon of mammon that have possessed many Nigerians.
Love of money of the then staff, over the good of the nation was the major cause of their non-performance.
They sacrificed the comfort and pride of the nation for their personal gain.
For example, NEPA Office would collect money from communities to buy a transformer, yet they will inscribe on it "Property of NEPA" What name does one call that, other than 'robbery'
What happens was that NEPA staff bought nothing; they only supplied one from their store and shared the money collected from the community among themselves.
At the peak of time when the transformers of many communities were not functioning and were in darkness, a former Minister of Energy entered a NEPA store in Ikorodu to find hundreds of new Transformers lying idly. We saw those hundreds of transformers on the TV. And what came out of it? Nothing was heard about it any longer.
So, the supply of electricity was privatized with the aim to achieving efficient distribution to consumers.
Now let me tell you the story of our small Church, located along Ganmo-Afon Rd. The Church is directly opposite the premises of Ganmo Power Transmission Station and just beyond the Kwara Baptist Conference Secretariat.
Hitherto we had used our own small generator to power the Church, whenever necessary.
We meet only twice in the week; Thursday 500pm and we close by 6.30pm at its latest. We never needed artificial light. By 6.30pm, when we close, God's light (Sun) is more than enough.
We also meet on Sunday mornings between 1000am and 1.30pm at its latest. We still do not need artificial light. All we need is power for our Speaking generating equipment consisting of two simple microphones.
And we never exhausted N2,000.00 worth of petrol in any month for our generator since 2002, when we opened the Church.
In January 2019, the Church decided to follow the popular trend of connecting to the government grid.
We approached the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company station (IBEDC), close to our Church, which is at Ganmo.
Ganmo station told us that they could not connect us until we settle with our community association because the community paid for the transformer. The spokesman of the community charged us N40,000.00. I thought the levy was much considering the density of houses, which tapped power from the transformer. His argument was that whatever electricity we use till the time we would be given meter, will be spread on them. I knew the explanation was a dummy, it was a connivance with the staff of IBEDC
The Church bought the Poles, wire and every other material that were needed. We employed and paid the contractor who provided us with the service. All that the Ganmo IBEDC office did was to connect the Church to their line but they did not provide meter.
Surprise! in a little over a month, it gave us a bill of N32k+, almost N33k as the cost of electricity consumed. Remember, we used the light only on Sundays for the use of microphones only, and in one month we never exhausted N2,000.00 worth of petrol. Remember too that they provided no service; we erected our poles, bought our wires that connected the Church from the main road and all other materials.
Where is now the Community Association who took N40k who said whatever we consume before we were issued a meter will be spread on their houses?
So I wrote IBEDC a stinker and requested that they disconnect us immediately until the time they can provide us with a meter, which it did promptly.
Recently, when announcement went on, that pre-paid meters were now available, we went back to them only to be told to pay the bill on our record before they will process anything.
So our Engineer and I decided to make a complaint to the Marketing Manager at their Headquarters, at Challenge area, Ilorin.
For two consecutive days, we could not set our eyes on him.
As we were perambulating round their premises the second day, we met a young man who pulled out our record to discover that the bill had even jumped from N33k, which they gave us initially by N10k. Which means that they still billed us after it was disconnected.
The gentleman pitifully told us that they will not be able to do anything until the bill is settled. I asked him if he will be willing to pay such a bill, were it to be him. To pay for a service that he was not given.
To pay N45k.00 for electricity that was not consumed is crude. It is stealing. It is theft. It is wicked. Right there I pronounced the judgement of God on them that God will clear off their company as God used baba Obasanjo to clear NITEL.
I do not have problem in paying bills, I pay bills in another country where I reside six months in the year.
I am happy to pay them because I enjoy the services.
But to issue me a bill for services not rendered to me, is immoral. It is reaping where no seed is sown.
I understand that the management had set a target amount of money for their staff, which must be delivered at any month or they lose their jobs. How fair is this?
What is the offence the common people of this country committed against our wealthy people? Are we so ignorant, not to know how they have accumulated their wealth? Is it not by the virtue of the opportunity they had to the government treasury in the past?
They milked us when in government and still milking us out of government, in their private business; the business, which they purchased with the commonwealth money. Do they not fear God?
The Bank industry did this practice in the past whereby they turned young women into prostitution; the young women who went about soliciting that rich people open account with the banks that employed them.
The cry of the public made the banks to stop the evil practice. We must in the same way, all raise our voice against IBEDC to stop this rape of giving us bills for electricity not provided nor consumed.
This is the second time, such a thing will happen. The first time was in the days of NEPA.
My elder sister, who kindly agreed to live in our family house, travelled out of the town in November 2009 to help her daughter nurse a set of twins.
My sister is not well educated, yet she had the common sense to switch off the light from the mains when she was leaving home. She lived alone in the house. And she went away with the keys of the house.
She returned after 18 months to find a bill of over N200k for electricity that was not consumed.
We examined the reading on the bill, prior the time she left home and after she returned. The meter reading on the bill did not change.
And how can it change when no single bulb was lighted.
My elder brother, a retired Civil Servant and a Unionist and I headed with the bills, which showed no increase in the readings to their office at Idi Ogun area, Offa.
Yet the NEPA bosses insisted the money must be paid.
They insisted that it had entered the computer and nothing could be done other than to pay it.
But how can any computer generate a bill for a meter that has zero reading?
Only in Nigeria can that kind of thing happen.
I even volunteered to pay the rent for their meter, since it was in our house all the time.
The answer was "No. The bill must be paid in full" they insisted.
We were told that we ought to have reported to them when our sister was leaving home.
I never heard such a thing anywhere in all my travels round the world.
So we started paying instalmentally.
When prepaid meter came in to being, we applied only to be told that we could not apply until the previous bill was paid in full. A fraudulent bill!
All these reminded me of the days of NITEL, when they gave arbitrary bills.
There was this Professor friend who when we worked in the Middle East was given a bill of over N50k. That was a big amount of money in the 90's. He had a house in the Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ilorin but it was not occupied.
His entire family lived with him in Riyadh.
All explanations fell into deaf ears of NITEL staff. "It has entered the computer and only the office at Kaduna can change it" Ilorin office insisted.
We can see that the flagging of 'computer' as an excuse to defraud had been on for a long time. Computer all over the world is to make things easy but in Nigeria, it is used for mischief, evil and to dupe.
But the flagging of computer to dupe does not apply to everyone.
I read in the newspaper at a time when NITEL left a spurious bill in the Abeokuta house of Chief Earnest Sonekan, former President.
The old man cried foul.
He explained that he installed the phone in the house in order to reach her mother.
Her mother could not read, so she could not have made any call.
NITEL had to pick their bill in shame because the old man was not going to pay a fraudulent bill.
One of the afternoons in January when our engineer and I sat in the office of the IBEDC Marketing Manager in Ilorin, a very old retired Civil servant also wanted to speak to him.
The old man had been written that his old meter was obsolete and he should come and pay for a new meter otherwise, he will be receiving 'assessed' bill rather than whatever his meter reads.
How could IBEDC have written such a letter in the year of our Lord 2020? If they know the meter is obsolete, it is their duty to change it. Greed is preventing us from being transformed to the civilized world.
The meter costs about N50k and he wanted the manager to tell him where he was expected to raise the money with his meager pension. He brought some bank alerts that confirm his pension pay.
I do not know any country on the globe where the consumers pay for meter.
Though announcement is constantly made that meters are not to be paid for, any consumer will wait till Jesus appears in the sky to get a free meter.
Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for the weaklings in Nigeria who are being oppressed.
I call on you Baba because you are the only one who can deliver and rescue the poor and the helpless from the strong one who robs and plunders him. So says King David in Psalms 35:10
The salary hardly lasts them till month end.
Business is not thriving.
People find it difficult to pay their Children's school fees.
Feeding is difficult.
Upon all these is the hardship from those who are supposed to make life better for us, in particular, fellow Nigerians who wear uniforms.
They complicate our problems.
Added to this is the company supposed to give us electricity, which has no conscience but give us bills for electricity we do not consume.
I pray Father that you deliver us from these people who take our money for electricity we do not consume.
I rely on your promise as we read it in Psalm 12: 5 that for the oppression of the poor, for the plunder of the poor, for the sighing and groaning of the needy, You will rise; You will set the weak in safety, You will protect him from those who malign him, those who do not want the good of others but themselves alone.
Your words are yea and amen. Whatever You say that You will do, is done deal. So deliver us from these people who oppress, cheat and rape us
Father give them a repentant heart.
Let them know that it profits them nothing to gain the whole world but live in hell in the life after death, which is eternal.
Fight for the poor people as you have promised Father.
The poor people are groaning from the plunder of the oppression of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Father please come to our aid.
I do not know how you will do it. But you are the same, yesterday, today and forever.
Father disgrace IBEDC just the way you disgraced NITEL.
Pull the rug under their feet in Jesus name. Amen.