Residents of Makurdi, Nigeria, are living in fear after a group of vandals tampered with key 33 KV transmission line towers belonging to the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED). The towers, responsible for supplying power to large parts of Makurdi, have been left in a precarious state, posing a severe danger to the community.
The affected towers, located in the Genabe area on the outskirts of Makurdi, stand directly across from the Makurdi Correctional Centre and the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority (LBRBDA) Headquarters. These vital structures play a crucial role in the distribution of electricity to several neighborhoods, including GRA, Wadata/town, Wurukum, High Level, North Bank, Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area, Industrial Layout, and Ankpa Quarters.
Shocking reports reveal that vandals targeted four of these towers, risking the lives of countless individuals. One tower, in particular, is on the brink of collapsing, as vandals removed crucial angle bars meant to reinforce its base. This tower now dangles ominously over the bustling Makurdi-Aliade road, posing an imminent disaster waiting to happen.
Local residents, expressing their disbelief at the extent of damage, suspect that the culprits likely hail from the immediate community. Many are appalled by the actions of these vandals, who appear to be seeking quick financial gain by selling scrap metal from the towers. They are not only jeopardizing the safety of the community but also the lives of those incarcerated at the nearby Correctional Services facility.
Mr. James Luger, a commercial bus driver who regularly uses the road, emphasized the need for the community to take responsibility for preserving these vital installations. He called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of those behind the vandalism, urging the community to work together to protect their lives and property.
Engr. Abdu Bello Mohammed, the Managing Director of JED, personally assessed the damage done to these critical power infrastructure. Expressing his shock at the state of the towers, he highlighted their significance to Makurdi and the catastrophic consequences if they were to collapse. He emphasized that two-thirds of Makurdi would plunge into darkness if these towers fail, impacting numerous consumers.
Engr. Mohammed underscored the importance of communities taking ownership of such infrastructure to prevent future acts of vandalism. He warned that without power supply, not only would lives be endangered, but economic activities in the area would also suffer. He stressed the urgent need to apprehend the vandals and put an end to their reckless actions, which are exposing innocent Nigerians to immense danger.
The situation remains tense as JED officials work tirelessly to secure the damaged towers and restore the vital power supply to Makurdi. Community members are urged to remain vigilant and collaborate with authorities to prevent further acts of vandalism that could have disastrous consequences.