Now, this is a mixed miracle – harbinger of joy, and also of apprehension. The miracle is electricity supply.
Today is our OFF day. But we’ve had (and now have) power supply today. Yesterday was our ON day (and characteristically, it was supplied around 9am and went off around 12pm yesterday). It was restored around 7pm but went off before bedtime. Only to be restored at 5:30am (it went off shortly after – signaling the start of our OFF day).
But a miracle happened. We had power supply at 8am, on our OFF day.
Ordinarily, the should be a thing of joy for people who had hitherto had their mind reconfigured to celebrate darkness; paying exorbitant charges to private power companies, legally allowed and abetted by government to cheat its poor citizens.
Is this a lasting miracle, or is the power manager playing Father Christmas today? Or there is a hidden motive?
Last Saturday, the first callers in my house were people soliciting for money to install new power transformer for my area. Saturdays are days we sleep till when somebody is hungry in my house, but a jarring doorbells (here it is gate-bell: most houses in Nigeria are self-constructed prisons – high fence, intimidating gate, iron doors, burglarproof windows), terminated our sleep. Two people defied the cold weather. They wanted to see me.
Their mission: A power transformer bought by a former PHCN staff (former government power company) needed to be installed for my area. And IBEDC (private power company) insisted the people in my area must pay over N600,000 for installation. Hence their visit to the poor me.
(We had between January and February this year contributed over N300,000 to repair a faulty transformer, and spent 47 days in total darkness).
I was livid.
I wondered why we should pay over half a million Naira for private power company to install a free power transformer they ought to supply and when they should have written a ‘thank you’ letter to the buyer of the transformer. This same company will still collect their unmerited monthly charges. Yet, they threatened to disconnect us if we don’t pay for the installation.
This background set the apprehension of our miracle power today.
Nigeria is so lawless that cutting off power is a possibility when somebody offends the girlfriend of a power manager. Cutting off our power would be nothing. Excuse of not paying the money when they ‘graciously’ supplied us power for few hours our on our OFF day is more than enough.
Is this a cane and a carrot strategy? Is this new power miracle coming to stay? Or the beginning of dark days ahead?
I keep my fingers crossed. Waiting.