By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Residents of Karaworo Street of Lokoja, Kogi State have accused the Abuja Eletricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC) of connivance with night marauders to vandalise a transformer located at Alheri area of the community.
They made the allegation at a general meeting on Saturday, lamenting it was the second time the same transformer (33/500 KVA) would be vandalised.
Speaking to newsmen after their meeting, chairman of the Karaworo Development Association, KDA, Alhaji Sulaiman Muhammed, regretted that the community was forced to come to such a conclusion because on the two occasions that the havoc was done, AEDC officials took away the light to facilitate removal of the vandalised items.
According to him, that cannot be coincidental but a sabotage on the part of some staff of the company because “somebody who did not know the nitty gritty of eletricity cannot just jump inside the transformer fence and removed such a heavy armmoured cable of size 1×500mm2 PVC/SWA and the light was off by AEDC till the henous crime was perpetrated on two occasions.”
Muhammed lamented when the same transformer was vandalised in 2014, the community spent about N400,000 to replace the stolen cables and accessories.
He said to replace the stolen cable now, it will cost the community another N600,000.
“This is not fair to the community putting into cognisance that it was the community who provided the transformer with the help of Community and Social Development Project (CSDP)” in 2012.”
Investigation by NationalWatch revealed that in the last three months, transformer vandalisation has been very rampant in Lokoja metropolis and it’s environ and some communities like Newlayout, Fehintolu, Sarkin-Noma, Karaworo, Baptist Curch and Cantonment areas of the ancient city have been affected.
Speaking to NationalWatch, a top AEDC official who pleaded anonymity confirmed the vandalisation of some transformers by hoodlums.
He however exonerated staff of the company of connivance with vandals of transformers, noting it has never happened.
He stressed that the vandalism of the company’s assets is becoming alarming and is depriving legitimate customers of their rights to steady power supply, saying “from January to September 2021, more than 15 Transformers have been vandalized amounting to 1154.9 Mwh undelivered energy”.