Latest News - Niger Delta - Nigeria - June 7, 2020

Delta Community, Aviara, Protests 8-year darkness

Seek State Government assistance

By Ovedhe Jerry, Delta Correspondent


Residents of Aviara community in Isoko South Local Government Council of Delta state have decried eight years of darkness, despite being the home town of many prominent politicians in the state.

It comprises of seven sub-communities namely: Araya, Okpawha, Ewho-Kpaka, Edherie, Aberuo, Okpare and Ukpude, and was connected to the national electrical grid at Irri in 1996, through Oyede and Bethel towns covering over 30km.

The Community has faced total power outage for the past eight years as a result of the connection distant and lack of maintenance of the power lines, vandalization of the cables, and broken poles.

The community’s complaint was contained in a letter issued to the Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, which was signed by the President-General of Aviara Federal Union, Mr Counselor Umulor, Secretary-General, Mr Benson Aluya Onosowho and Chief Edwin Egboro, Odiologbo of Aviara kingdom.

The letter titled “EXTENSION OF ELECTRICITY FROM IRRI TO AVIARA COMMUNITIES IN ISOKO SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT”, drew the governor’s attention to the unending power outage that has existed in Aviara communities for the past eight years.

It stated: “During this past decade and all through this distance for lack of maintenance of the lines, the cables have been stolen and vandalized and many of the electricity poles broken or pull down.”

“In a frantic effort for Aviara communities to be directly connected to the main grid at Irri through a shorter distance of about 7km, an alternative phase was embarked upon in 2016. After having covered about 2km with the erection of electricity poles and cables, the project has once more been abandoned to the mercy of thieves and vandals since 2017, apparently plunging Aviara communities into perpetual darkness, the end of which is not in sight.”

“The letter added, “It is, therefore, our earnest plea sir, that you use your good office in your known proactive nature, to make the Delta State Government take over the project so that Aviara communities can once again be lighted up to enable indigenes and locals key into the State’s Smart Agenda with its associated influx of enormous social, business and economic activities and attendant benefits”.

Meanwhile, some indigenes of Aviara have taken to social media to protest the perpetual darkness in the community.

The various campaigns complained that “Aviara needs light”, “Aviara is tired of failed promises”, “Light up Aviara again”, “Light is life, Aviara deserves to live” and “The years of darkness are gone, give Aviara light,” among others.

Speaking with our reporter, Mr Abroad Omodeka, an indigene of Aviara community, said, “The state of the total darkness in Aviara clan for years is so worrisome. It is unfortunate that we found ourselves in this pitiable state.

Our children born seven (7) years ago do not know what is electricity without noise from the generating set.”

“We have been cut off from the world. Our farms produce cannot be preserved, school children cannot read, businesses that rely on electricity have folded up.”

Omodeka blamed the situation on the migration of the youth to neighbouring towns and cities with electricity, lamenting that promises made during electioneering period to be connected to the main grid are never fulfiled.

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