Bayelsa Community Threatens Showdown with NDPHC over Power Outage

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By Onungwe Obe

Youths from Gbarain kingdom in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State yesterday threatened a showdown with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) after the company failed to restore electricity power to the area since late last year when public power was cut off by the company.

THISDAY checks showed that a fire incident at the Gbarain power station had caused a damage that cut off the power supply.

Since then, nothing had been done to restore power supply in the area, triggering accusations that NDPHC did not care if the people lived in perpetual darkness or not.

Apart from the communities in the area, the Gbarain power station also supplies power to the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital in Okolobiri, which is the main COVID-19 isolation and treatment centre in the state.

The people expressed fears that the situation could jeopardise efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 since NDUTH is the main isolation centre in the state.

President of the Gbarain Youth Federation, Opkonipre Iweribakumo, explained that the people were only being restrained because the state government was intervening in the matter just like it did in June 2020 when the communities had the same issue with the company.

The youths also flayed the nonchalance of the management of NDPHC to resolve the problem. They alleged that the management of the power has not even provided the diesel needed to power the generator to carry out basic functional test after the completion of the project.

To worsen the situation, the cables supplying the outgoing feeder to the Ogboloma sub-station and the teaching hospital have been vandalised thus keeping the fate of the communities in the balance.

The liaison person between the state government and NDPHC, Olive Kemenanabo, confirmed that the state Governor, Douye Diri, had approved the government intervention just as he did during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Kemenanabo, who also confirmed that work has begun, assured the state that the work would be completed in a few days’ time.

But he said the management of NDPHC would need to be alive to its responsibilities to forestall the impending showdown.

“Sadly, if the NDPHC doesn’t wake up to its responsibilities, the state of affairs may remain blink, and this might justify the communities to take measures that obviously shall breach the existing peace in the state. So, we urge the management of the company to take proactive stance to avert the looming crisis,” he said.

“The achievements of Prof Ajiboye in TRCN are numerous. They also include the introduction of Teacher Information System and Interactive Platform, which provide registered teachers a forum for exchange of ideas and professional development. Suffice it to add that the introduction of Digital Literacy Training for Nigeria Teachers by TRCN under the able leadership of Ajiboye has really helped to boost the pedagogical skills on the use of digital technology by Nigeria teachers.

“Consequently, any attempt to rubbish or disparage the achievements of TRCN under Ajiboye is a move in the wrong direction to discourage an astute academic like him.”