01 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Another group of youths have shut down the Transmission Station in Ahoada Town, Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, which supplies power to Yenegoa, the Bayelsa State capital and other towns in the state, thereby causing a total blackout in the two oil-rich states.
This comes just two days after some youth groups in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state shut down the Transmission Station in Afam, which has already led to the loss of power supply in some parts of the state.
SweetCrude Reports gathered that the forced outage of the Transmission Station in Ahoada has not only affected Yenegoa but the adjoining communities in Bayelsa State, as well as some parts of Rivers State, namely Isiokpo, Emuoha, Elele, Mbiama, among others.
Reports say the stick-wielding youths of Ahoada, came out en masse in the early hours of the morning, chanting war songs, blocked and barricaded the Transmission Station and in the process forced the operators on duty to shut down the entire station.
Reacting on the incident, the management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, said the unwarranted action of the youths has led to the loss of power on the 132KV lines supplying power to Yenagoa, adding that since then efforts made by the company to get the matter resolved has been met with threatening statements from the irate youths.
The Manager, Corporate Communication of PHEDC, Mr. John Onyi, lamented that protests in the Niger Delta region over the load allocation from the National Grid which leads to systematic load shedding by the company was becoming too many.
Onyi regretted that Niger Delta residents have always demanded 24-hour power supply without corresponding payments and efforts made by the company to explain the electricity value chain appears not to be understood by the people.
He called on the Rivers State Government, the Bayelsa State Government, the security agencies and relevant stakeholders to wade into the matter to ensure stable power in the affected areas.
According to him, “Surprisingly, debt profile as at December 2017 in Ahoada stood at over N7.6 billion, yet the youths have not deemed it necessary to tell their people why the debt should be settled.
“Electricity has been misconstrued in some quarters to be free and not to be paid for, whereas it is not so,” Onyi said.