- The national electricity grid has collapsed again, throwing several cities including the federal capital, Abuja, into darkness
- The latest incident, the fifth time in 2022, broke down on Sunday, leading to the shutdown of the outgoing electricity feeders of some power distribution companies
- This development has however aided the activities of kidnappers and robbers in the FCT as victims recount sad experiences
Like the end time, darkness enveloped the Adefemi community in Ushafa, Abuja as residents struggled to get their security whistle to alert their local security men on duty following the trend of kidnapping and armed robbery on the faithful night.
Mr Ahmed Idris told Legit.ng how he struggled when the community chairman reached out to them that men of the underworld were lurking around. He said he went for his whistle to possibly alert other security men, but it took him 30 minutes before he could find it.
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He said power has become a serious challenge amid the growing insecurity in Nigeria as he couldn't reach out for his whistle on time because there was no light. He also lamented that the criminals usually storm the area days because of the epileptic nature of electricity.
But according to him:
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"They had all gone before I could blow the whistle. We rarely have light these days.
"Since the past one month, we have not had light up to 5 hours in a day. It's quite ridiculous and in this insecurity and perilous time, we need light to beef up security.
"What is the work of the media? You people need to do more to question what is happening," he queried.
Mr Ike Ani told Legit.ng that life has become very difficult in the past 2 months. He said besides the insecurity posed by the lack of power, his business is gradually collapsing. According to him, getting even fuel for generators is a big issue due to the scarcity of the product.
" I'm tired of buying fuel from the black marketers. To even get fuel for your car, you need to remain on queue for hours, let alone buying for your generator. Filling stations don't give in gallons. So we buy 10 liters for between N3000 to N4000. And this is the nation's capital. Drive through the streets and major roads and you will see the number of ‘aboki’ who are illegally involved in the black market business.
"How do you now want people to survive?. All sources of power have been cut off from us. This has affected people's businesses. And when the ordinary person who depends on power for survival is not getting it, what happens? Think of the ordinary barbers and ice block sellers. How are they running their businesses right now?"
Legit.ng observes that since the past 3 months, power has become a major issue in Abuja. This has exposed residents to great danger.
Just recently and in the thick of the night, the Adefemi community again witnessed the abduction of 3 persons from different houses. Each household paid 500 thousand Naira each before the victims were released.
Kubwa kidnapping incident
At FO1 in Kubwa Abuja, a trending video with a woman's voice narrated how kidnappers stormed their home in the middle of the night when there was no light, abducted a man and made effort to break into other people's flats.
The voice said it only took the intervention of God for the dare-devil armed men not to break into her apartment. She narrated that the kidnappers left with her neighbours in one of the apartments, blowing up some other apartments in futility as they didn't succeed in taking more than one person.
What is, however, common in all the incidents, is the timing. The criminals often attack in the dead of the night as it is now normal for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, to throw people into darkness every other day.
Eyewitness account from Karu, near Abuja
A call put across to our correspondent from Overseas, Appmma, Karu, near Abuja from a resident, Ejeh Innocent, narrated how kidnappers stormed their area in the middle of the night when the community had already been thrown into darkness.
Ejeh, a political scientist and an activist lamented the none presence of security operatives and the darkness experienced in the area due to poor power supply. He said the criminals work better in darkness.
Narrating how they stormed his area, Ejeh said:
"These criminals stormed our area in the dead of the night. They shot sporadically into the air. Honestly, they came with sophisticated weapons. The entire area was vibrating due to the heavy sound of gunshots. But I tell you, no single intervention from security operatives until they finished their operation and left.
"At the end, they left with no fewer than 3 of my neighbours. Not less than N12 million was paid to secure their release.
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"We really need serious security in our area. We also need constant power supply. At least, deep inside our area, we need a police station or outpost."
"And police response at such a time has to be swift. God forbid that we experience such an incident again. Majority of our people are planning to relocate because of lack of police presence. If that is looked into, there could be a respite."
Nasarawa police command responds
Nasarawa state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Rahman Namsel, when contacted by Legit.ng said the incident was not reported, but promised to work on it for further actions to be taken.
"Unfortunately, this incident was not reported. I will take this as an information which will be worked upon immediately."
But a police source told Legit.ng that police monitored events and had carried out a raid of the area. He said the Area Commander and the DPO of Karu division were in the area.
He also disclosed that some military men were there to monitor the situation.
The source was, however, silent about the payment of ransom, saying the police do not engage in any form of ransom payment.
AEDC Bwari Area Council remains mum
When Legit.ng reached out to Simeon Omebe, the AEDC General Manager, Bwari Area Council, to know the issue with power in the area, he did not respond. All chats sent to him appear delivered but Omebe failed to respond.
Again, National greed collapses
But again, on Sunday night, report emerged of the collapse of the national grid. According to the report, the power distribution in Abuja and other parts were unable to receive bulk electricity from the national grid. This will be the 17th time of its collapse since this year.
The Kaduna electric announced on Sunday that:
“We regret to inform you that the power outage being experienced in our franchise states is due to system collapse of the national grid. The collapse occurred at about 18:47 pm this evening hence the loss of supply on all our outgoing feeders.
“Power supply shall be restored as soon as the national grid is powered back,” the statement added.
Electricity Distribution companies apologise to Nigerians, businesses as National grid collapses again
There was a widespread blackout across the country following the collapse of the national power grid.
It was learnt that the grid collapse occurred on Sunday, 12 June around 6.49 pm, leading to the shutdown of the outgoing electricity feeders of some power distribution companies.
Electricity distribution which confirmed the collapse via its verified social media handles also sent out apologies to customers which including Nigerians and Businesses.