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 vandalised the 330kV DC Afam – Onne Transmission Line in Gbake community of Ogoniland, Rivers State.
The vandals cut down four Transmission Towers (T19, T20, T21 and T22), dismantling and carting them away.
Again, on October 10, 2022, the vandals attacked and vandalised 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.
During a 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 will require 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’s immediate and extended families, promising that the company will support them in their moment of grief.
She appealed to members of the public to regard “public infrastructure as our commonwealth and strive to jointly always protect it”.
Ms 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 vandalising our assets will be made to face severe legal sanctions.”
Reporting by Kayode Oyebisi; Editing by Omotola Oguneye and Tony Okerafor