Vandals recently went gaga in Rivers State, killed vigilante and destroyed six transmission towers.
The unrelenting attacks on power infrastructure by economic saboteurs leading to inability of Nigerians to access adequate electricity for economic growth and prosperity has continued unabated.
In recent times, several projects being embarked upon by Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited have been attacked and contractors either killed or maimed by attackers.
On September 3, 2022, some miscreants attacked and vandalized the 330kV DC Afam – Onne Transmission Line in Gbake community of Ogoniland, River State. The vandals cut down four Transmission Towers (T19, T20, T21 and T22), dismantled and carted them away.
Again, on October 10, 2022, the vandals attacked and vandalized two additional towers on the same 330kV DC Afam – Onne Transmission Line. During a third attempt luck, however, ran out on them as efforts of vigilante members, buoyed by security operatives paid off, resulting in the arrest of nine of the miscreants. They have since been charged to court to face the full wrath of the law.
During routine patrol in the night of November 25, 2022, vigilantes again encountered vandals along the same Afam-Onne 330kV DC Transmission Line. The vigilantes called for military reinforcement but before help came, one of the guards was shot and later died.
Incidentally, this line connecting Afam to Onne in Port Harcourt is the first 330kV Double Circuit Transmission supply line to the capital of Rivers State.
The persistent attacks on the line have caused substantial damage to the transmission line project and it will take huge sums of money to effect needed reconstruction and repairs in addition to resultant delays on delivery time.
Executive Director, Corporate Services at NDPHC, Nkechi Mba has however, commiserated with the deceased immediate and extended families, promising that the company will support them in this their moment of grief.
“The company is grateful for his gallantry in the line of duty and we hereby pledge support for his family in this moment of great sorrow”, she stated while declaring “We will be relentless in hunting these vandals down, particularly those who assassinated the young man.”
According to her, “the necessity of reenforcing the message of communal ownership of critical infrastructure cannot be over emphasized. The infrastructure that governments develop is done with taxpayers’ money and is therefore owned by the people.”
She appealed to members of the public to regard “public infrastructure as our commonwealth and strive to jointly always protect it.”
Mba expressed gratitude to law enforcement agents for their continuous support in trying to engage and deter economic criminals who vandalise NDPHC assets, saying the company “will ensure that anyone caught vandalizing our assets will be made to face severe legal sanctions.”