How power supply was ‘suspended’ as minister discussed Twitter suspension with envoys

On Monday, while the minister of external affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, was discussing the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria with foreign diplomats, power supply was suspended.

According to journalists who attended the meeting, the power failure lasted for ten minutes.

While it may be an extreme case of technical fault, some Nigerians jokingly say it is compliance with the ‘suspension’ galore.

But while the jury is still out on that, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) “took the light” midway into the government’s meeting with some envoys at the federal ministry of foreign affairs headquarters in Abuja.

Onyeama had invited envoys of the US, UK, Ireland, Canada and the European Union after they all condemned the federal government’s decision to indefinitely suspend Twitter in Nigeria.

Forty-five minutes into the parley which was holding behind closed-doors, the media was invited to be briefed on its outcome.

But the lights flashed off just as camera lights danced through the room as journalists struggled to take photos when the briefing commenced.

The power outage occurred at 1:01 pm to the shock of many, even with one journalist retorting, ‘Naija!’
Before the light ‘disappeared

When the light ‘disappeared

For the next ten minutes from 1:01 pm when light was snatched from the minister’s conference room, there was no sign of light except for the rays of sunshine sneaking in through the window blinds.

Staff of the ministry hurried to open more blinds to ‘clear the way’ for light and perhaps, air.

Journalists and others standing by the windows had to make way for natural light, just as Onyeama, accompanied by Zubairu Dada, minister of state for foreign affairs, struggled to hide their feelings about the situation.

The minister continued with his remarks anyway, speaking on how Nigeria values its relations with the US, UK, Canada, Ireland and EU, hence the need for the meeting.

By then, some of those in attendance had lost hope that the power supply will be restored before the curtains — read ‘blinds’, fall on the event.

The envoys, all five of them, sat back and watched as the darkness unfolded.

The bulbs eventually roared back to life again to the relief of the entire room courtesy of the PHCN, or was it an alternative power supply?

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