It is difficult not to notice the polished air in Ambassador Godknows Igali, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power. Princely, urbane, debonair, cool and calculated. Of course as a seasoned diplomat, it is not an acceptable part of his trade for one to loose his cool at any point, no matter the humongous nature of the problem at hand. He doesn’t having seemingly learnt and perfected all the arts in exclusive realm. It is perhaps as a result that it is difficult, almost impossible to capture the deep pain his voice betrays each time he speaks about one of the most significant and enduring problems in the power sector for a long time now – vandalism. But on each occasion in the recent past, when he had to speak about the issue in the public, a practice study of his countenance would always unveil his unsavory emotion. It is almost microscopic, but there- covered with veneer of cultured language and good mannerism. As the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power and the official number two official, it has become his lot to introduce his principal, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo at some of the public event involving the top echelon of the ministry. While so doing, he never fail to use the opportunity chip in some words or raise issue that reflects the impetus and drift in the power sector in recent times, one of which is debilitating effect of vandalism. On October 22 at Karu, a suburb of Abuja, during the commissioning of $6.6milliom World Bank assisted 2x60MVA, 132/33kV Transmission substation, while bemoaning the phenomenon, he spoke of how critical the trend has become, as perpetrators appear to have changed gear and upped the ante in their desperate bid to undermine the power reform programme of the federal government. “How could someone go under water and blast gas pipelines channeling gas to turbines built to generate electricity? Recently these unscrupulous elements went under water and blew up these pipelines with dynamites. At six points under water, these are some of the problems we have been battling, but which we are not letting out to the public. Can these acts be explained or justified by any stretch of argument? Are these people who perpetrate these acts not some of the worst enemies of the country? Is this not the most classic case of cutting your nose to spite your face? These people must be fished out and dealt with. They are not just ordinary people, because it takes a lot to carry out that level of activity. “President Goodluck Jonathan has been doing a lot to fulfill his promises of giving uninterrupted power to Nigerians. The evidence of the sucessis everywhere. But there are people who are determined to ensure that these efforts do not succeed. We must stop these people because they are dangerous to the society,” he said. The Minister expressed no less worry. In fact, he gave a more damning but graphic description of the degeneration of the ugly situation. He narrated a particular situation in which vandals cannibalized a transformer, to steal an item worth less than N10,000 and in the process plunged millions of electricity users into darkness for days. At the end of the day, by the time repairs were carried out, it ran into hundreds of millions of naira. Such huge amounts of damage for a paltry benefit, the minister believe was neither explicable by any stretch or argument nor acceptable by any standard. The minister was emphatic that Nigerians owed the President a world of gratitude for making power a cardinal programme of his transformation and driving the process of achieving a regime of uninterrupted electricity supply for the entire country with the single minded determination, argued that the list they could do to express such gratitude was to protect every installation and facility provided within their vicinity. The massage was the same on Friday, November 8, at Ayede, Ibadan, Oyo State, during the commissioning of a similar project where the two most important personalities in the power ministry again launched the campaign for eradicating vandalism within the power sector. While introducing the minister, Igali had this to say, ”Let Nigerians be assured that this country has entered a time in our history where nobody can take our hands back in power supply. Nigeria will no longer be dark. Our private sectors have shown it’s in other sectors. There were days when you go to the bank, queue up and collect a teller, then you go to your house and sleep and keep somebody there to find out weather it is your turn, but today you go to the bank if you have to and within few seconds you are through; today, from your mobile phone you can conclude all transaction. It was not angel from heaven that came to do it, it were Nigerians. It is the same thing with telecommunications. Today you can pick your mobile phone and call anywhere in the world. It was not angelfrom heaven that did it, but Nigerians. Now Mr. President with courage has said we can do it as well in the power sector and started this process of transformation, this process of change and this process of innovation and challenged the private sector to come and make this huge investment. The only thing we can do is to support this whole idea and the courageous steps of the President to transform this country. We must ensure that these facilities are safe and that we stop these saboteurs by exposing them.” Amplifying the message of his second in command that there was no going back in achieving total successof set goals in the power sector, Nebo reminded Nigerians about past doubts over the possibility of a successful privatization of the power sector and how they have effectively been dispelled and banished to history forever by the huge success the exercise eventually became. Again, he gave the credit to the President; saying without his focus and determination, the naysayers would have carried the day. “There is no doubt that the President has shown clear vision and determination. There no doubt that he kept his eyes on the ball. The result has translated to success of one the most historic transformation events any country could carry out. At first many people had argued that it was not possible. The international community in sheer amazement of this feat tagged it ‘simultaneous sequentiality’. Therefore, every Nigerian who loves this country ought to see where the President id going and support him. This we can do by ensuring that we do not destroy facilities, we do not look the other way when we see them being destroyed. The more preserve these projects, the more we say thank you to Mr. President and the more the nation forges ahead,” he said. Now from the foregoing, it is not difficult to underscore the fact that the phenomenon of vandalism has taken a new and dangerous dimension with far reaching undertone. If perpetrators could dive into the deep sea to blow up pipelines, which could only be achieved with rare expertise, then the story has changed. Of course. explanation for this are varied. Those who suspect that it is political believe that the current issues in the power sector are going to be key in determining the tenor of 2015 politics. That the President once promised Nigerians that if giving them constant electricity would create the most post popular President in Nigeria, he would carry that trophy because he would be the first to do it and the fact that he almost braced the tape, especially by pulling off the privatization magic, most have jolted those who fear the implication into playing their trump cards. Others who suspect economic motives, say it is the handwork of the demons Nebo promised the nation he was going to exorcise from the castor. The argument is how would generator importers, for instance, who had thought that the privatization exercise was a huge joke that would collapse like a pack of cards, like similar past ambition projects, give up do easily with the prospect of constant electricity starring them in the face and their warehouses still fully stocked? Fight they must. But whatever is playing out, the larger picture is that Nigerians are like the grass that stand to suffer in this seeming proverbial battle of two elephants. Whichever way, they stand to gain in quantum leaps if the dreams of constant power supply in the country is achieved and would be the losers: the ones wincing from the sharp pain of mosquito bites at night; the parents that would keep awake because their children could not sleep due to heat; the relations that will wail because generator fumes have wiped off their family members if it fails. That they become whistleblowers and armour bearers against these vandals is not too much to ask of them. This is the new message.