Some residents of the FCT have reacted angrily to the response of firefighters to the Apo power transformers incident on Sunday afternoon.
The fire destroyed 45MVA132/33KV power transformers feeding Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC’s 33KV lines and disrupted supply to several areas in the capital.
A Facebook user, Cosmas Dikeocha, said “the firemen are walking about with no urgency. We need oyinbo to come and lift those water hoses to fight the fire.”
“A whole country is without an effective and well-equipped firefighting department that is capable of quick responses,” another Facebook user, Emeka Eric Masa, lamented.
But Abubakar Sabo praised the authorities for ensuring that much damage was not done to the electricity infrastructure.
He said when he heard about the fire outbreak at the Apo Transmission substation in which a transformer was burnt, he thought there would be power outage for days.
“Though I had fuel in the generator, I bought five litres extra on my way home because I was sure, my residence in Lokogoma would be affected. Whenever a transformer in the estate got burnt, we stay some days without electricity until it is fixed,” Sabo who resides in EFAB Estate said.
He said when he got home at about 8 pm on Sunday and there was electricity outage, his fear was confirmed.
“I had barely stepped inside the house when electricity was restored,” he said adding that he could not hide his joy. “There was light till I left the house this morning at about 7 am. I was happy and surprised,” he said.
There were several residents like Sabo that went through a similar experience and were full of praise for the authorities.
The Assistant Controller General of the FCT Fire Service, Julius Opetunsin, said if not for the combined effort of fire wardens from the Federal, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the multi-billion naira facility would have been razed down.
The implication according to sources in the power sector would have been enormous for the government and residents. The sources said several districts including Wuse, Utako, Jabi, Garki, Gudu, Gaduwa and Lokogoma in the FCT would be in blackout aside the cost to the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
Opetunsin added that they responded immediately they were alerted.
“I have three of my stations there. Garki Market, Games Village and Asokoro were all on the fire incident. It is only when you call us that we know there is a fire somewhere. There was fire, we were called and we salvaged the problem,” he said.