Youths protest poor electricity supply, say Niger not ‘Power State’ +VIDEO
By Tina George, Minna
Motorists and other road users in Minna on Monday, woke up to the glaring anger by the youths, who took to the streets to protest the persistent poor power supply in the state.
Declining every move by representatives of government to pacify them, the youths also insisted that the state government changed what they describe as ‘fake’, the ‘Power State’ slogan, “since government has failed to restore power supply through the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, to the state.
Ashenewsonline reports that the youths, who were on the streets as early as 6am prevented travelers from plying the Minna-Bida road, which links the state to the South, thereby making motorists look for alternative routes.
They carried placards with different inscriptions read: “Enough is enough”, “No to estimated billing”, “No to 2 hours of light”, “If AEDC cannot give us light, they should pack and go”, “We no go gree”, etc.
When the Secretary to the Niger State Government, SSG, Alhaji Ahmed Matane approached to appeal to them to open up the roads, the youths booed him and rather demanded for the presence of the state governor.
They posited that AEDC had taken the people of the state for granted, a situation they said, was no longer tolerable.
The councillor, who represents Minna South Ward, Mr Aminu Ladan said that the people were marginalized with regards to power supply, emphasis ING that AEDC is not acting up to its responsibilities.
“We are being deceived for calling Niger a power state. It is not. Government has to do something about this. Restore power to the power state or change the slogan.
“What is our offence? This is the capital of Niger state and we house three big Dams, including Shiroro, Kainji and Jeba hydroelectricity Dams. We should not be facing this. Government supersedes every organization, they know what to do to make these people give us electricity but they are not doing so. Other electricity distribution companies are doing well but AEDC is certainly not.
“How can we stay for over six months with just one hour of power. If they cannot give us power, they should leave and let other investors take over,” he said.
On the youths humiliation of the SSG, Ladan told Ashenewsonline that it was not humiliation but an adverse reaction of angry people that have been denied what they have been promised to enjoy.
“The SSG should understand the grievances of the people. Their behavior was not to undermine his office but to drive home their point.
“As you can see, the SSG was driven away in anger and the message he brought could not be passed. My people are demanding for the presence of the governor.
“As a political office holder, I understand that the SSG is a representative of the Governor but the people do not understand that as far as the issue of poor electricity supply is concerned. They are not convinced and they want the governor to come himself,” he said.
One of the protesters, Ali Musa told Ashenewsonline that the next protest would drive AEDC out of the state of nothing was done to provide the people of the state with electricity.