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Kaduna youths block roads, protest 10-month power outage

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Youths of Kamanzo Community in Kaduna metropolis have embacked on protest over alleged 10 months of power outage in the area.

The protest which erupted on Monday, saw the youths barricade the Ibrahim Yakowa Road, causing gridlock for over two hours.

The District Head of Kamanzo Community, Malam Dan-Makama, who confirmed the development, said that he had personally written to KEDCO on the matter, but the effort had yielded no result.

However, he appealed to the protesting youths to return to their homes, to prevent the situation from becoming violent.

According to him, “I have a generator in my house, but I had to stop using it to identify with my people.

“This is because it is going to be unfair that I have electricity because I can afford it, while my people are living in the dark,” Dan-Makama said.

Meanwhile, all efforts by the police, led by the Divisional Police Officer for Sabo Area of the city, Mr. Olalekan Odumosun, to disperse the crowd were futile, as the youths, women and children refused to budge.

Speaking on behalf of the community, Mr. Suleimanu Haruna told newsmen that the area had been without power supply for 10 months.

According to him, all efforts by the community to get the attention of the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company, KEDCO, to remedy the situation were unsuccessful.

The spokesman explained further that the company had removed the two transformers serving the community after repeated breakdown due to overloading.

Haruna said, “This development (overloading) resulted to rationing of electricity supply in the area, while the transformers kept having problems until they finally packed up.

“We have written to KEDCO on several occasions with no positive response. We are tired of writing; which is why we came out on the street to draw the government’s attention to our plight.

“The KEDCO officials have removed the transformers, with a promise to replace them; but this is more than 10 months ago and so far, nothing has been done.
“We cannot continue living in the dark,” Haruna noted.

When contacted, KEDCO’s Head of Media and Community Relations, Mr. Idris Muhammad, confirmed the power outage, stating that the community needed three transformers for immediate use.

Muhammad, who denied that the company was charging customers without electricity supply, said, “We planned to provide five transformers to the community because it is growing very fast. So far, efforts are underway to provide three transformers before the end of the week.

“One is ready, the second one has no accessories yet for it to start working, while the third one that blew up is being repaired.
“In the event we fail to make them available before the end of the week, we will get back to the community, to prevail on them to maintain peace, before the transformers are made available,” Muhammad added.

The situation was however brought under control with the intervention of the military and other security personnel attached to the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, who appealed to the protesters for calm, promising to intervene on the matter.

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