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Bleak future for Maiduguri residents as power shortages persist


Bleak future for Maiduguri residents as power shortages persist

The city of Maiduguri was thrown into darkness since January last year after three unsuccessful attempts
by the Islamic State of West Africa ISWAP, who blew up electric towers by planting explosives on each leg of the towers and detonating them.
The city is now on it’s 6th month without light aside from the 72 hours electricity enjoyed in the month of March, after the power has been restored only to be destroyed again in the same manner. The 27th March attack on the power facility ended a celebration of residents of the city and jubilations that trended on the social media.

It could be recalled that the initial restoration took at least 3 months for the TCN to restore the lights with temporary measures and about 3 staff severely injured after stepping on a landmine planted by ISWAP in an effort to scuttled and undermine the restoration process, and another one lost his live after falling off from a tower in the process of reconnecting the lights.

The power blackout has caused undue hardships to the residents of Maiduguri especially in areas where they have water terminals and boreholes heavily reliant on electricity and has resulted in long queues and increase in prices of water due to scarcity and distances covered before fetching water by vendors.

The circumstances of the frequent attacks on the electricity facility in the 50 kilometre away journey from the city of Maiduguri have took new turn especially after the attacks on which electric cables were burned and the most recent one of the attacks which undermines another 3 months of hard work of Borno state government and TCN workers who often go out in company of securities every morning.

The incidence of attacks has made resident groaning from the unending hardships especially from workers such as electric welders who are solely relaint on electricity and could not afford gasoline due to costs for their work.

A dangerous rumour insinuating some local residents having hands or directly responsible for the power outage in the city broke out last month, the news which later verified to be false had succeed in sowing doubt in the minds of residents suspecting different parties as culprits undermining the work and sabotaging efforts of restoring power. Among those rumoured are the ice blocks sellers during the month of Ramadan and generator sellers most recently.

In any case the most important thing at the moment is the effort of authorities in restoring the power lines to ensure that they are working again and the quick and speedy completion of the Federal Government’s awarded Gas power electricity station through the NNPC to be constructed in Maiduguri as an alternative, a directive which was reaffirmed by president Muhammadu Buhari when he recently visited the city of Maiduguri.

Essentially, strategies to protect the power towers from further attacks are necessary to ensure that efforts made have not been wasted again.

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