Pandemonium broke out in villages close to Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station on Wednesday when some protesters blocked Shakwut-Shiroro Road over the failure of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to provide them electricity.
The affected villages included Sarkin-Pawa, Erena, Shakwatu Zumba, Mutumdaya, among others.
The protesters were said to have obstructed free flow of traffic, as they chanted war songs.
They decried the inability of the AEDC to supply them electricity for more than two weeks despite their proximity to the source of energy.
They rejected the increase in their monthly bills from N1,000 to N1,500, saying they were not enjoying any power to warrant the increment.
It was learnt that during the protest, armed soldiers were invited to disperse the demonstrators, who refused to back down.
A witness said the demonstrators lay on the road, asking the soldiers to shoot them.
The action reportedly forced the soldiers to retreat.
For the second day running, members of a non-governmental organisation, Youth Lead Nigeria, had also laid siege to the Niger State headquarters of the AEDC in Minna.
The youths stopped the workers from going out or coming in.
The Coordinator of the group, Mohammed Etsu, said they decided to join the villagers on Wednesday because the AEDC reneged on the agreement to give 12 hours’ power supply to the state daily.
An official of the AEDC blamed the problem on a shortfall in supply from the national grid.
According to the official, who did not identify himself, the state now gets 29 megawatts daily, as against the 100 megawatts they got before.
Etsu, however, described the claim as false, saying AEDC “is deliberately refusing to buy energy.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Yakadi, was said to have stepped into the matter.
However, he had yet to convince the youths to stop the protest as of press time.