Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has revealed that there is a plot by Boko Haram terrorists based in some parts of Kaduna and Niger state to destroy critical electricity infrastructure supplying the North-West Region.
El-Rufai made this revelation in a letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari in late July. The statement by the governor is believed to be the first known official confirmation of Boko Haram’s presence in Kaduna.
What is contained in the letter?
In the letter, Governor El-Rufai said an enclave straddling a village in Chikun Local Government Area in Kaduna state, as well as Shiroro and Munya in Niger state currently under the control of Boko Haram terrorists hosts the Shiroro-Kaduna 33okv Double Circuit Transmission lines, R1M and R2M. This circuit supplies electricity to Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto, and Zamfara- all the seven states that constitute the North-West.
“Credible intelligence reports indicate that the Boko Haram elements in the area have targeted the lines as part of a plot to plunge the North-West into total darkness”, he wrote. “It is noteworthy that on May 19, 2022, the R1M line shut down for unknown reasons. The presence of terrorists on the line route has made it inaccessible to technicians for investigation and possible repairs”
“The power load for the North-West now rests solely on the R2M line, which has resulted in a drastic drop in supply due to the limited capacity of only one line. Any mishap or damage to the solely functioning R2M line will immediately enshroud the North-West in darkness, playing directly into the plan of the terrorist” he continued.
The governor also added that the total darkness threat fits the violent extremist’s agenda of further crumbling the socio-economic life of the region.
What else did the letter say?
In an indication that the extension of Boko Haram to the Chikun area of Kaduna was not very recent, Governor El-Rufai said the terrorists have been consistently attacking electricity workers trying to work on the Shiroro-Kaduna Transmission line, adding that the consistent pattern of attacks to forcefully prevent the maintenance and adequate functioning of the transmission lines in the area, has crystallized into a clear intention by the terrorists to make a grand statement by destroying them altogether. El-Rufai said if this is allowed to happen, it will generate attention and impact craved by the terrorists.
Governor El-Rufai’s letter to the president is meant to rouse the Federal Government to come to terms with the enormity of the insecurity in the North-West region and deliver certain responses.