By Etuka Sunday
Residents of Angwan Doka, a community in New Nyanya, Nasarawa State were thrown into darkness at the weekend, as yet to be identified gunmen shot a transformer installed by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in the area.
The transformer, according to the residents, was installed on Friday, October 11, 2019 by AEDC engineers as demended by the residents to boost the economic activities of the area.
Unfortunately, they said, gunmen stunned the community at the early hour (2am) of Saturday, October 12, 2019 and shot the transformer.
Some residents of the community who spoke to Peoples Daily on the condition of anonymity said, the incident must have been perpetracted by some greedy members of the community who are bent on extorting money from landlords in the area.
According to them, in 2012, the community contributed money and purchased a transformer. Shortly after the installation of that transformer, the community leaders started extorting money from the people.
They said, the illicit act later became a lucrative business such that any new landlord coming to the area is made to pay between N50, 000 and N70, 000, even when it was learnt that they have recovered the money used to buy the transformer.
The most worrisome, according to them is that, the payment continues even after the initial payment of N50, 000 or N70, 000 as the case may be. This time, it is for unending maintenance of the transformer.
Each household of this community is made to pay between N4, 000 and N8, 000 for either transformer oil, recoil, general maintenance or whatever they choose to name the collection.
When the payment became unbearable, some members of the community approached AEDC to supply new transformer and take over the distribution of electricity in the area. This created a big problem between them and the extortionists.
The matter, however, had been reported at the New Nyanya Police Station and arrest are being made.
When contacted, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, AEDC, Mr Oyebode Fadipe described the incident as devilish and unimaginable.
“It is good that the Police is on top of the situation, making some arrest. Nevertheless, the act was heinous for them to have shot at the transformer that was installed to supply the community. It was just unimaginable,” he said.
The AEDC spokesman said, “while thanking the Police for doing its job, it is much more important for electricity consumers to be more vigilant and protect power facilities in their communities.”