From John Adams, Minna
The epileptic power supply by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in Minna, the Niger state capital and its environs drew the anger of Youths on Monday as they blocked all major entering points to the state, resulting in a heavy vehicular traffic.
The Youths in their hundreds blocked all the major roads as early as 7:00am and disallowing the movement of vehicles in and out of the state.
The placard carrying youths are protesting what they called unacceptable epileptic power supply by AEDC in the state which they said, has crippled business and commercial activities in the sate.
Electricity consumers of Minna and its environ only enjoyed six hours of power supply everyday with three hours in the morning (9am-12:00pm) and three hours in the night (9:00pm-12:00pm).
This development, the youths said is unacceptable because of the contribution of Niger state to power in the country as the host state to three hydro electricity dams.
The angry youths violently chased away the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ahmed Matane who had come to appeal to the youths to open up the roads and stop the protest as the government will take up their grievances with the relevant authority.
The youth demanded the presence of the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello whom they accused of turning his eyes away from sufferings of the as a result of the poor power supply.
The Youths declared that they were tired of the epileptic power supply in the state, saying that the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) is taking the people for granted and therefore vowed to grand the state if nothing is done to improve the power situation.
The youths blocked the ever busy Minna-Bida resulting in a heavy traffic. It is the road that connects north and the southern parts of the country at the moment.
Motorists, especially those traveling to the south were still stranded as at the time of filing these reports as every appeal to the youths to open the road fell on their deaf eyes.
The youths carried different placards, some which read, “enough is enough”, “no to estimated billing”, “no to 2 hours of light”, “if AEDC cannot give us light, they should pack and go”, “we no go gree” amongst others.
One of the Councillor representing Minna South Ward, Honorable Aminu Ladan who spoke with newsmen said that there is zero response from the authority saying that the protest is peaceful and responsible.
He said that the people in the state, especially those in Kpakungun area have been marginalized for long saying that they can no longer accept two hours of electricity.
Speaking about the youths reaction to the SSG, he said that the people are grieved over the poor power supply which is taking tool on both residential and business activities in the state, adding that they will only respond positively if the Governor comes to address them.
“As you can see, the SSG was driven away in anger and the message he brought could not be passed. My people are demanding for the presence of the Governor.
“As a political office holder, I understand that the SSG is a representative of the Governor but the people do not understand that. They are not convinced and they want the governor to come himself.”
It could b recalled that worried by the epileptic power supply in the state, governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello in March this year paid N80million to AEDC to enable it increase the hours of electricity supply to the state so as to reduce the hardship by the people occasioned by the nationwide Lockdown due to COVID 19.
No AEDC official was ready to comment on this development when our correspondent approach the Minna Business office.