Highlights

  • The insurgents reportedly damaged the electricity equipment serving the state capital and its environs
  • The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) confirmed the development
  • TCN pledged to continue to work to ensure bulk electricity transmission and grid expansion nationwide.

 Boko Haram insurgents have cut off the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, from the national electricity grid.

In a statement on Monday, Ndidi Mbah, spokesperson for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said the insurgents damaged the electricity equipment serving the state capital and its environs.

She gave the assurance that the agency was making efforts to restore electricity supply in the area as soon as possible.

“The Transmission Company of Nigeria hereby inform the public that Maiduguri and its environs have been cut off from the National Grid since January 17, 2020, due to damages to TCN’s equipment by insurgents,” Mbah said.

“The incident affected the 330kV transmission line between Maiduguri and Damaturu. Also, the Damboa – Maiduguri 132kV transmission line has equally been disconnected from the grid for some time, for the same reason.

“TCN pledges to continue to work to ensure bulk electricity transmission and grid expansion nationwide. The company wishes to use this opportunity to commend the Nigeria Armed Forces for their continued support especially in areas prone to insecurity,” the statement read.

UN Facility burnt 

Also on Monday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) released a statement confirming “a complex assault” on its humanitarian section by heavily armed non-state armed groups’ operatives suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents”.

Edward Kallon, United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said an entire section of the facility was burnt down as well as one of the few vehicles UN agencies rely on for movement and aid delivery.

He said protective security measures deployed at the humanitarian hub, however, prevented any harm to the staff at the facility.

“I am outraged by the extremely violent attack on this key humanitarian facility where five United Nations staff were staying at the time of the incident,” he lamented.

Kallon urged all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence and impartiality which guide the assistance the humanitarian community delivers in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

“I am shocked by the violence and intensity of this attack, which is the latest of too many incidents directly targeting humanitarian actors and the assistance we provide. I am relieved all staff is now safe and secure. Aid workers, humanitarian facilities and assets cannot be a target and must be protected and respected at all times,” he declared.

President Muhammadu Buhari had assured British prime minister in London on Monday that things were “a lot better” in Nigeria regarding the activities of insurgents.

EU dissent

But the European Union (EU) has a contrary opinion. The European parliament, the legislative branch of the EU, stated in its resolution of January 16, 2020 that there has not been progress in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, citing a series of attacks on civilians and the military in the past few weeks.

It said on Christmas eve, a faction of Boko Haram affiliated to the Islamic State, killed 11 Christian captives in Borno, saying the action was taken to avenge the deaths of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, IS’ late leader and Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, its spokesman, who were killed in Syria in October.

TheCable.ng reports that the EU raised other concerns to support its claim that “the security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated significantly”.

NP/Monitored

 

 

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