Laleye Dipo in Minna
Following his inability to convince the Abuja Electricity Development Company (AEDC) to improve its services, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has taken the case before President Muhammad Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the National Assembly.
The governor’s petition was the last resort after the state had been thrown into blackout for more than three weeks leading to a near total collapse of commercial and social activities.
Bello personally disclosed that he had taken the step when he received the Korean Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr Non Kyu-Duk, in office after the inauguration of a rice processing plant in Bida town.
The governor condemned the over one week power blackout being experienced in the state and said the development was no longer acceptable.
The governor demanded immediate power restoration by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to the cities and towns in the state.
He expressed this concern at the weekend while inaugurating a multi-million dollar integrated rice milling plant in Bida, in Bida Local Government Area of the state.
The governor who said the state could no longer tolerate the poor service of the AEDC, declared that “Niger State alone contributes about 1,500 megawatts of power to the national grid, but we are the worst hit state in terms of power supply.
“During raining season, we suffer a lot of flooding. Our people living in the riverine areas suffer every year. This year alone, over 100 communities were submerged and yet we don’t have light.
“Minna, the state capital and many towns in the state have been without light for over three weeks. This is not acceptable. I have discussed with the president and the vice president. I have complained to Minister of Power and people who care to listen and I don’t want to continue to complain.”
He said the state knows its rights and was tired of complaining before asking the president and others to intervene before it would be too late.
“We know our rights. Whoever is in charge, whoever is responsible, I have one message, reverse the situation. We have been patient enough to be this day. We have complained and we have written series of letters. Let the distribution company reverse the situation now.
“We are a patient people, we are law abiding citizens. Our patience, tolerance and obedience should and must not be interpreted as weakness,” the governor warned.
However, in a statement which the management of the AEDC circulated in the state last weekend, the company claimed the load shedding taking place in Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory was as a result poor supply from the national grid.
It blamed the situation on the drop of water in the three hydro electric dams at Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro that contribute 20 per cent of electricity to the grid.
The management claimed that the rationing of electricity was not as a result of debt owed by customers in the franchise area as was being claimed in some circle.