Over continuous power cuts in Makeni residents threaten to beat up NPA officials
Over what residents in the northern city describe as the continuous electricity cut over the weeks by the National Power Authority (NPA) to its anxious and stranded customers, some disgruntled residents especially youths and businessmen have registered some antipathy and dissatisfactions with further plans to assail or physically beat up some of the assigned senior officials at the authority’s power station in Makeni if they continue depriving them of their supposed rights of getting the already rationed power supply from the thermal plant as being said that the Bumbuna hyrdo plant is undergoing routine maintenance.
According to the irate residents whose contentions further castigate the officials of conspiring with the city’s senior stakeholders who steadily and out of bias, enjoy the rationed 12 hrs power supplies on a daily basis at the detriment of the ordinary citizens and customers despite their equal buying of the pre-paid units from the Authority and since the breakdown of the Bumbuna hydro, our localities have been totally deprived, they residents say. They also point out that due to prevailing power cuts and darkness in most of the vulnerable Communities, the craps of the Authority is paving ways and means of monotonous thefts and robberies into their Communities. This is more so when the erection of the solar street lights in Makeni has not yet commenced, the irate residents try to make a security point.
Painfully according to the disgruntled residents who seize the opportunity of ringing a bell of alleged corruption for the President’s intervention that since the establishment of the pre-paid meter system alongside the coming of the Bumbuna Hydro power supply, they, the residents, are much confident and sure that the NPA in that part of the country raises Billion Leones monthly. For justification (s), they pursued to challenge that they would like the President to mount smart investigations to further prove them right or wrong.
If it is correctly so the aggrieved residents stretched, how many billions of Leones must have the Authority generated in the recent past till date? A senior resident, Mr. Alimamy Turay vexingly told this Journalist that despite the ability of the Authority to liberally and reliably purchase a brand new thermal plant for standby power generation to customers as the case may be in the Bumbuna hydro technical and mechanical failures, there was at the same time, a thermal plant recently commissioned by the President for the Makeni NPA which according to him, remains dormant and useless till date with no explanation.
Turay describe the situation as atrocious and an indirect sabotage to the President’s “Agenda for Prosperity” because sustainable power generation is one of his prime and acute priorities as part of his good governance to meeting the millennium challenge goals.
However, when contacted for comments, two senior Officials of the Authority who should have been thoroughly beaten up by the aggrieved residents and youths by now, Mr. Aziz Tarju and Mr. Mohamed Conteh cunningly and niftily responded by defended their indicted superiors in Freetown that the less than 1.8 mega watts thermal plant in current use has served for over thirteen years (13). They describe it as very old and incapable of supplying a city that demands about 2.5 mega watts considering the everyday increase in connection extensions within the city of Makeni.
On a more serious note, the residents and businessmen say they are also taking the opportunity to informing the President that the stakeholders in that part of country whom he much relied on are not effectively representing neither genuinely advocating the people’s interests. According to the residents and deprived businessmen, the issue and advocacy for a thermal plant to that part of the country could only become a debate whenever the Bumbuna hydro power gets faulty. The issues gets buried under carpet and silenced, each time the hydro power takes over. Does such a rash and fire force leadership and advocacy represent the genuine interests of the people and suffering businessmen considering the wide host of foreign expatriates and foreign investors whose dependency seriously lies on the 24 hrs Bumbuna supplies within and around the city of Makeni, the residents ask?
Meanwhile, if the power supply situation is not quickly salvaged, there is great tendency and possibility of further violence, acrimony and antics by the residents and youths who would likely take the law into their own, more especially as it was reliably learned that some disgruntled and aggrieved military officials from the Infantry Barracks in Makeni had some time ago attempted storming the Authority’s power house on almost the same power cut issue, sources reliably revealed.
By Alie Mozart Sesay in Makeni
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