By SUNDAY ABBA, Abuja
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company has condemned the destruction of six (6) power transmission towers and killing of a vigilante by vandals who were caught in the nefarious act recently, even it vowed to relent not in hunting down the criminals.
A statement signed by the company’s Media Adviser, Adesanya Adejokun,
and issued on Sunday in Abuja said, “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”.
It added that in recent
times, several projects being embarked upon by NDPHC Limited had 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 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 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,” the statement explained.
Consequently, Executive Director, Corporate Services at NDPHC, Nkechi Mba, has on behalf of the company commiserated with the deceased immediate and extended families, promising that the company would 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 said and declared, “We will be relentless in hunting these vandals down, particularly those who assassinated the young man.”
According to her, “the necessity of re-enforcing the message of communal ownership of critical infrastructure cannot be over emphasised. 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 always protect it jointly”.
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.