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Nationwide Blackout Looms as Vital Transmission Line Falls Victim to Fifth Vandalism Incident

In a distressing turn of events, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) revealed on Sunday that the Shiroro-Katampe 330kV transmission line, a critical infrastructure, fell prey to vandalism. This alarming incident marks the fifth act of sabotage between February and March, casting a shadow over the nation and threatening to plunge it into perpetual blackout.

The chronicle of destruction began on February 28 when vandals targeted Tower 70 along the 330kV Gwagwalade-Katampe Transmission line in Abuja, marking the third transmission tower vandalized within just five days. The unabated destruction of TCN towers has sparked concerns among stakeholders, prompting calls for urgent government intervention to deploy security agents for a thorough investigation.

TCN’s spokesperson, Ndidi Mbah, lamented the latest blow to the Shiroro-Katampe transmission line, stating, “During the fault tracing process, vigilante team leaders in the vicinity notified TCN linesmen of vandalism along the Shiroro-Katampe transmission line. TCN personnel confirmed the vandalisation of the 330kV Shiroro-Katampe transmission line 1, from Towers 244 to 245, and the conductors are stolen.”

Efforts to restore operations were thwarted, and TCN is currently mobilizing for conductor replacement, pending the completion of security operations at the site. While the second line remains operational, transmitting at full capacity to Abuja, concerns over the sustainability of power supply loom large.

This incident adds to a string of vandalism episodes recorded by TCN in February 2024, including the destruction of Tower 70 along the Gwagwalade-Katampe transmission line, vandalism of towers along the Gombe-Damaturu 330kV transmission line, and an attack on towers along the Owerri-Ahoda 132kV transmission line. Tower number 388 along the Jos-Bauchi 132kV single circuit transmission line also collapsed on February 1, 2024, due to vandalism.

TCN emphasizes that these acts of sabotage are unacceptable and urges relevant security agencies and host communities to collaborate in apprehending the perpetrators. With the protection of the nation’s transmission infrastructure deemed paramount, TCN calls for collective efforts to curb these incidents. Nigerians are implored to assist in reporting such acts of vandalism, recognizing electricity infrastructure as a national asset and safeguarding it as a collective responsibility.

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