From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Trouble is brewing in Gbarain Kingdom, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as communities in the area are poised for a show down with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) over a prolonged power outage since late 2020.
According to investigations a technical glitch had trigged an inferno at the Gbarain power station which caused the power outage.
The incident which initially attracted the attention of the management of NDPHC is being left to fester causing serious apprehension among the residents of the area that the company is not concerned about their plight.
The people are nursing fears that unless an urgent priority is devoted to the issue by the NDPHC it could jeopardise the state government efforts at stemming the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state because the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH)Okolobiri, which is the main isolation centre in the state is being fed power from the station through a 60MVA transformer.
The President of Gbarain Youth Federation, Opkonipre Iweribakumo explained that the people are only being restrained because the state government is intervening in the matter just like it did in June 2020 when the communities had the same issue with the company.
Further findings indicated that even if the state government helps to sort out its prescribed scope, the management of NDPHC has been lackadaisical about its efforts to resolve the problem.
Information gathered revealed that the diesel needed to power the generator to carry out basic functional test after the completion of the state government intervention cannot be provided by NDPHC.
To worsen the situation, cables supplying the outgoing feeder to the OgbolomaSub-station and the Teaching Hospital have been allegedly vandalized thus keeping the fate of the communities in the balance.
When contacted, the intermediary between the state government and NDPHC, Olice Kemenanabo confirmed that Governor Douye Diri has approved the intervention just as he did during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020.
Kemenanabo who also confirmed that work has begun assured that the work would be completed in few days time.
While noting that he is in contact with the management of NDPHC he added that the company would need to be alive to its responsibilities to forestall the impending showdown.
“Sadly, if the NDPHC doesn’t wake up to its own responsibilities, the state of affairs may remain blink and this might justify the communities to take measures that obviously shall breach the existing peace in the state. So, we urge the management of the company to take proactive stance to avert the looming crisis,” he said.