Power outage looms in nine states
NINE states and parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja risk being thrown into prolonged darkness if Ndokwa youths of Delta State make good their threat to shut down the Independent Power Plant (IPP) located in Okpai, Ndokwa East Local Council of the state and operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
The youths under the aegis of Pages Group International yesterday issued a one-week ultimatum to the operators to begin the process of stepping down the plant and allow Ndokwa people benefit or lose it.
The facility, it was learnt, currently serves nine states and part of the federal capital territory.
At a media chat in Kwale, the group’s president, Comrade Chocky Chukwuma said despite the presence of the plant in Ndokwa nation, the people of the region could not get 30 minutes of uninterrupted power supply, pointing out that in other areas that have such a facility, it was stepped down for the usage of the indigenes.
He stated further that the IPP was commissioned over 10 years ago with a promise to the people that it would be stepped down immediately, adding that a decade later, nothing had been done, liking it to one being in the middle of the river and still lacks water to bath.
“We have written to the office of the President, the GMD of the NNPC, Ministry of Power and Energy and the Governor of Delta State to notify them of our stand,” Chukwuma said, adding that their God-given resources would not be continually exploited without the people of the region benefiting from it.
“So, its either they initiate the process of stepping it down within the region or we shall call for its immediate shut down at the expiration of the ultimatum, as we shall keep agitating till the wishes of our people are fulfilled, the youth leader stated.
Meanwhile, Ndokwa women have given their full backing to the agitation. The President and leader of Ndokwa Ladies Positive Agenda (NLPA), Mrs. Josephine Ndubishi said they were ready to play a very active role in ensuring the people nation got equity, calling on all Ndokwa women to join hands in the struggle for “the total emancipation of Ndokwa Nation which has been denied its pride of place in the scheme of things”.
She stressed that the region lacked basic amenities, including regular power supply needed for the betterment of the people and improved living condition.
The women leader, therefore, urged the Federal Government to collaborate with the newly appointed GMD of NNPC to put an end to gas flaring in the region, stressing that instead of allowing the gas to be flared which causes serious health hazards and degradation of agricultural system, a platform for its usage should be set up to aid better supply of electricity through gas-powered plant.
Ndubishi also asked government to pay attention to the demand of the youths to save her people from further neglect by compelling Agip to initiate the stepping down of the power plant, saying when there is constant power, supply, business thrives.