On July 4th of this year, the Boko Haram terrorist organization attacked and destroyed Nigeria’s 132 KV Biu-Damboa-Maiduguri electricity power lines supplying most parts of Borno State including the capital. Borno, traditionally known as the “State of peace,” already suffering five years of unbearable loss of life, livelihood and hope from unchecked, free reigning terror, was rendered into pitch darkness; rent into the stone ages.
With no power, the people who already have lost most telecom masts and managed the available limited phone network, now virtually lost every capacity to communicate with themselves and the outside world. Even worse, with no power as their Armageddon continues, they have been disconnected from the outside world and are unable to know what is happening in the world and what the world is doing or is not doing to help them.
Prior to the power truncation, details of Boko Haram carnage were more readily supplied to the media and reports on the pogroms, not only by the terrorists, but also by suspect Nigerian military commanders was also more readily furnished to local and international human rights organizations. The deliberate power cut serves to put some of the most oppressed people in the world, a people being aggressively displaced and annihilated, the Borno people in a black box, cleaved from all who may be concerned and determined to reverse their failed, corrupt and deadly clueless system enforced fate.
After the power lines were cut, there was a transient repair of the 33kv lines—these are industrial lines which several rich people tap into as the lines are known to carry steady power all season. However when these 33kv lines were restored they only lasted 5 days as they were again purposefully sabotaged. The military claimed Boko Haram severed the lines however the Power company, TCN workers and locals say it was actually the Nigerian military that sabotaged and destroyed the repaired lines. The result—no power to Borno people.
Ironically, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil hails from Azir, Damboa in Borno State, right where the power lines were cut. Of the many—over a dozen—local governments taken over by the terrorists, Damboa is the only major town that the military ensured they recovered for the obvious reasons including the hope of restoring power to the capital; the one region the military focuses on securing from overthrow. So far all promises and press releases of restoration of power have borne no merit and been proven false. As at the 20th of December—the time of this report, there has been no power in the capital. The people are used to the darkness and rely on generators for essentials.
There word is that the Nigerian government under Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has abandoned Borno; the state is literally cut off from all grids. Efforts for journalists to meet with government officials are always systematically blocked to diminish reporting of the true state of the harrowing destruction and devastation of Nigeria’s worst hit northeastern State. The power problem paints the picture of the hopelessness of the Borno situation; a State practically totally lost to Boko Haram with the terrorists always able to operate destructively at a more sophisticated and organized level than the security and government agents of the wealthy African nation.
Lately, most of the nation’s overwhelmed and sabotaged military forces were moved to recover Adamawa north, the home-State of Nigeria’s defense minister Alex Badeh, thus eliminating all hope of recovering Borno from Boko Haram. The Borno capital, Maiduguri which is now loaded with thousands of refugees from other parts of the State, who inhabit school campuses and all other available spaces is at greater humanitarian risk with the power situation. The situation is truly dark.