– Okonta Emeka, Ibegi Maxwell Alakurogha, Glaad Amadi & Joy Government.
Nigeria is no stranger to power shortages. In the Niger Delta, an area rich in crude oil – electrical fluctuations are a great frustration for local residents. Over the past few days, Radar reporters interviewed local people in the Delta, discussing democracy, elections & electricity.
Okonta Emeka interviewed Emma Ojibah in Delta State. Ms. Ojibah expressed her frustration with frequent experiences of electricity outages in her community.
“Why are you asking me, who in Nigeria does not know or feel the pains of non-steady supply of electricity. This is one issue our government at all levels must keep politics aside and do something quickly about. This ugly power supply reality is biting hard at our people and economy, those behind this horrible situation should change. Please have a change of heart.”
“We are SUFFERING.”
Joy Government, Radar reporter and Delta State resident, wished to share her own thoughts on the issue of electricity. “Yes – oh – the electricity in Delta, most especially on Isoko land, we have been paying NEPA bills but we don’t have light. It’s only when they want to collect light bills – that is when they will bring [light], and after 2 or 3 days there will be no light and mostly what they do is just flash it.”
Corruption fuels electricity crisis and will influence elections
Glaad Amadi interviewed, Mr Kelechi Ibe – aged 42, and Mr Victor Mohammed – aged 40, respectively. Mr Kelechi believes that electrical outages will be a deciding factor in the general elections this month. “People are hoping for new change. Bad electricity and corruption, for example, the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)* bills being paid but not seeing the purpose of what has been paid for.” Currently, “electricity, light, comes once in a week.”
Mr Mohammed continued, “we need change more than ever before. Lack of electricity, low voltage and irregular power supply” is a problem.
Ibegi Maxwell Alakurogh, Radar reporter and Bayelsa State resident drew a similar link between the election result and electricity difficulties. “After the election our hope is development. We want the next government to give us roads: electricity and water supply to our communities. The atmosphere is okay, but electricity is big issue in the Delta. No light entirely in the Niger Delta communities, apart from the state capital which is Yenagoa.”
*Editorial note – NEPA has been renamed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.