Residents of some communities in both Yenagoa and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State, are bearing the brunt of electric cables vandalism and now they are wondering if the robbers threw them into darkness to rob them. 

Crime rate has increased in communities under these local councils and the people have attributed it to the vandalised armoured cables from a transformer located at Swali main town.

The cables supplied power from the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (Phed), located at Ahoada in Rivers State.

They were vandalised during a prolonged power outage and has affected electricity supply across Ekoli Creek Communities.

Pa Dimie Ayibatonye, a community leader at Obogoro, told Bounce News that the cables were cut off from the main overhead power line.

"Criminals cashed in on the frequent power outage to steal the cables.

"We have been in darkness for more than a month now," he lamented. 

Ayibatonye further stated that he had visit a barbing saloon just to charge his phone.

"My worry is that, the thieves also go their to rob at gunpoint.

"Criminality will surely reduce when they restore power," he said, expressing the belief that the darkness had fuelled robbery. 

A hairdresser at Akaba community, who simply identified herself as Ebimene, emphasised that armed robbery attacks had been on the increase since the blackout.

"I have been robbed of my phone and money twice on my way home from work.

"Their attack was not frequent when we used to have light," she said. 

Explaining how the robbers operate, Ebimene said they robbed more under the cover of darkness, committing various degrees of crime.

Mr Makzy Amawari, a member of the light committee in Ogu community, also supported the claims that the vandals were also carried out by the criminals to enable them operate undetected.

"Our communities have experienced similar outage before due to the activities of these thieves.

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"We have been to the electricity company twice over our transformer problem," he claimed.

Mr Amawari explained that on each occasion, they were assured of quick reconnection.

"I feel disappointed over the nonchalant attitude of the state government and the distribution company, towards our plight.

"Criminals are having fun under the cover of darkness while hard-working business owners suffer losses."

He advised youths to shun cultism and crime.

A male staff of Phed, who would not want to be mentioned, told Bounce News that the vandalised transformer would be repaired soon.

"We will soon repair it and restore power to the communities.

"They should warn their children to stay away from it once it is fixed," he stressed. 

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