Residents of Paikoro and Lapai Local Government Areas in Niger State have appealed to the state government and the Abuja Electric Distribution Company (AEDC) to intervene and resolve the prolonged power blackout that has plunged their communities into darkness for the past six months.
The blackout is a direct result of the vandalisation of power distribution facilities by unidentified individuals, leaving no fewer than 40,000 houses without electricity.
Reports indicate that 33 transformers in Lapai were destroyed, and the feeder pillars supplying both local government areas stationed in Paiko were stolen by suspected criminals.
This unfortunate incident marks the third occurrence within a span of six months in the two local government areas, forcing residents and various government establishments such as the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai and the two General hospitals in the affected areas to rely on generators for power supply to meet their domestic and operational needs.
The FM station in Lapai has also been off-air for the past six months due to the power outage.
Residents have expressed their frustration, alleging that the AEDC has withdrawn its staff from the affected councils, which they interpret as a lack of willingness by the company to address the situation promptly.
A community leader, Alhaji Mohammed Yaro Paiko, appealed to the state government and the power company to urgently intervene and assist the affected communities.
He emphasized that the prolonged power outage has severely impacted local businesses and created an opportunity for criminal elements to exploit the situation by invading homes, particularly during the night.
Confirming the situation, the Public Relations Officer of the AEDC in Minna, Alh. Mohammed Adamu lamented that on three occasions electrical facilities were stolen and were replaced, while urging the communities to take ownership and ensure facilities in their various areas are protected as the company has no resources to continue to replace them.