Abubakar Aliyu, Nigeria’s Minister of Power says journalists in the country should stop reporting the destruction of power and communication towers by Boko Haram, because such media attention “frustrates government efforts to address the problem.”
Aliyu made the statement during a town hall meeting organised to “address the vandalisation of power and telecommunications infrastructure” by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria.
The town hall was hosted by the Borno State Government. The minister who was responding to a question asked by Babagana Zulum, the Governor of Borno State, on what the ministry was doing about the power outage situation in his state, said media reports sabotage government efforts to fix the destroyed towers.
He was represented at the meeting by Sule Abdulazeez, the Managing Director Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Aliyu said the Nigerian government has three major solutions to the Borno power challenge “but we cannot unveil them in the public domain.” He said past media reportage of vandalisation by insurgents has emboldened the vandals to carry out more attacks.
“We have been trying to make sure there is restoration of power supply to Maiduguri, but we noticed that the last time we restored power to Maiduguri, we saw it on the TV how people were celebrating and in 48 hours the bandits went again to destroy some towers. That’s why we don’t want to bring our plans out here in the public,” the Minister said.
“I ask the journalists to please stop reporting vandalism; we don’t want these things being reported and we don’t know what they will do with it if they are planning evil.”
Maiduguri, the Borno State capital has been plunged into the darkness since January following an attack by three high tension cables by Boko Haram. The insurgents had repeatedly sabotaged efforts to restore the lights with more attacks on power installation.
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