Anxiety and apprehension filled the air in Zaria on Tuesday as Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) disconnected light in most parts of the ancient city over alleged non-payment of bills.
Checks by our correspondent revealed that the decision of KEDCO to disconnect almost the entire city is taking both political and security dimensions.
While the chairman of the Zaria local government, Engr Aliyu Idris Ibrahim, had advised the company not to go ahead to disconnect the city for security reasons, other residents are accusing the company of sabotaging the re-election bid of both President Muhammad Buhari and Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i.
“When KEDCO visited the council chairman, Engr Aliyu Idris Ibrahim in his office, the chairman told them that they shouldn’t disconnect the transformers for security reason, but they went ahead.
“We see this as a calculated attempt to mar the present administration at both state and national levels. The council would not tolerate this action of KEDCO, because criminals may take advantage of the darkness to commit crime,” Alhaji Abubakar Rilwan, Special Adviser to Zaria local government chairman on Media and Publicity, said.
Similarly, residents interviewed by Daily Trust described the decision of the company to mete out collective punishment on the entire city as a wrong one.
Alhaji Aliyu Garba, a resident, said “there are people that have prepaid metres; which means they pay before enjoying service. Why someone would decide to punish these kinds of people, because of defaulters.
As a company, they ought to employ means of punishing defaulters but not the entire city. I think the government should intervene before the problem gets out of hand.”
When contacted, the Acting Business Development Relations Officer (BDRO), Zaria Unit, who identified himself simply as Malam Kabiru, declined to speak, saying that talking to press is the responsibility of the company’s headquarters
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