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BREAKING: Workers Stranded As Labour Pickets Jos DisCo, NERC

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Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress in Plateau State and the Trade Union Congress on Monday blocked the entrance of the headquarters of Jos Electricity Distribution Company in Jos, the state capital.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission offices located at the Gold and Base axis in Jos were also picketed by the union members, leaving their workers stranded.

The State Chairman of the NLC, Eugene Mangji, who led the union members, told The PUNCH in Jos that the action was in compliance with the directive of their national secretariat aimed at forcing the authorities to reverse the recent hike in the country’s electricity tariff.

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We have shot down the NERC office at Gold and Base. Right now, we are the JED headquarters at the Ahmadu Bello Way. We will continue until the right thing is done,” the NLC chairman stated.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Organised Labour Shut BEDC Head Office

The PUNCH reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, counterpart had earlier given the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, till May 12 to withdraw the recent hike in electricity tariff or face unprecedented industrial action.

The ultimatum was issued in a joint letter to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, dated May 3, 2024, and copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, the Ministers of Labour and Power, and the electricity distribution companies, DisCos, among others, Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, President of NLC and its TUC’s counterpart.

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The letter read: “This is to refer you to our May Day address where we expressed grave concerns regarding the recent announcement of an astronomical hike in electricity tariff across the nation from N65/kWh to N225/Kwh by your commission.

‘’We believe that this decision is not just morally reprehensible considering the difficulties Nigerians are faced with currently, but it blatantly disregards fundamental principles and statutory obligations.

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‘’It is a slap in the face of justice and fairness, and we will not stand idly by as the masses and workers are subjected to such unacceptable exploitation.

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“As the electricity sector regulator, it is imperative that your commission grasps the weight of its responsibilities. NERC’s role entails the regulation of electricity tariffs in the country, a duty outlined in explicit detail within the statutes governing the commission.

“Yet, with this recent tariff hike, which you have consented to, it is evident that the Commission has forsaken its duty and abandoned the people it was meant to protect to the fat cats in the electricity industry.

“We are miffed that NERC has become a tacit collaborator in crafting the oppressive pricing regime being perpetuated against Nigerian workers and people. The Laws that set up the commission mandate it to act as an unbiased ombudsman in the electricity industry.

READ ALSO: American Comedian, James Gregory Is Dead

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“Unfortunately, the reverse is the case as it has acted in cahoots with the Distribution Companies, DisCos, and the Generating Companies, GenCos, to promote their nefarious market practices.

“The announced tariff hike not only defies the established procedure mandated by law but also tramples upon the rights of Nigerian citizens. It is a flagrant abuse of power and a clear violation of the trust bestowed upon your commission by the Nigerian people. Such actions will not be tolerated, and we refuse to accept them as the new norm.

“Nigerian workers and masses led by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, stand united in denouncing this injustice. We must defend the rights of our fellow citizens against exploitation.

“Therefore, we demand an immediate reversal of the hike in electricity tariff to N65/kwh, immediate cessation of the discriminatory practice of segregating electricity consumers into arbitrary bands, and restoration of the supremacy of the statutes governing the conduct of operators within the electricity industry.

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“We give you until Sunday, May 12, 2024, to comply. Failure to do so will result in swift and decisive action on our part as we will not hesitate to mobilise our members and occupy all NERC’s offices and those of the DisCos nationwide until justice is served.”

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Father Arrested For Selling Six Biological Children In Sokoto

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No fewer than 20 children rescued by the Nigerian Police Force, Sokoto State Command, have been handed over to the state orphanage home for proper care.

The state Commissioner of Police, Ali Kaigama, stated this while addressing newsmen at the command headquarters in the state capital on Thursday.

He said the command arrested 10 suspects relating to the incident.

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The suspects include one Bala Abubakar of the Tudun Wada area of Sokoto.

He was alleged to have given out a total of 28 children, including six of his biological children.

READ ALSO: Delta Assembly Workers Strike Over Unpaid Salaries, Benefits

He said the suspects gave out their victims to Kulu Dongoyaro and Elizabeth Ojah in exchange for between N150,000 and N250,000, claiming they were being taken to one Abuja-based NGO that is willing to shoulder the responsibilities of their welfare.

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Kaigama also disclosed the arrest of one Saifullah Hassan of Gunmi Local Government area of Zamfara State, who was alleged to have killed one Balikisu Garba of Gidan Dare behind Jummat Mosque at the Ifeoma Hotel.

He said, “On May 24, 2024, at about 0620 hrs, Mr John, the manager of the Ifeoma Hotel in the Phase 1 Old Airport area of Sokoto, reported that a woman identified as Balikisu Garba of Gidan Dare was found dead.

“On receipt of the report, police operatives from the Old Airport Division led by the DPO swung into action, and as a result, the suspect bag, which was abandoned after the act, containing some receipts of payment and some SIM cards, was recovered.

READ ALSO: Gas Explosion Rocks Lagos Community

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“These recoveries led to the identification of the suspect as one Saifullah Hassan of Gunmi LGA of Zamfara State, which intensified the investigation, and the suspect was later traced and arrested in Funtua, Katsina State.”

The command also announced the successful rescue of Barrister Rukayat, who was kidnapped in the Bado area of the state recently.

He said, “The command, through Yabo Division, in conjunction with the Military and Vigilante Group, acted on credible information and went for a rescue operation.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Approves Six-month Free Ride On Abuja Metro

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“The team went to the scene around the Binji axis, where they traced footprints towards a forest, where the suspected kidnappers were traced and routed, which resulted in the subsequent rescue of three victims.

“One suspect was neutralised and one fatally injured, while ten rounds of live ammunition, two solar panels, one Tecno mobile phone, and a blanket were recovered at the scene.”

The CP, while assuring the residents of the state that the command remains committed to upholding law and order, commends the state governor, Dr Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, for his support throughout the investigation process.

He called on the good people of the state to continue to cooperate with the command for a safer environment.

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PHOTOS: Many Trapped As Two-storey Building Collapses In Lagos Island

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Rescue operation is currently ongoing to save victims trapped in a two-storey building which collapsed at number 15, Iga Idungaran, close to Oba of Lagos, Rilwanu Akiolu’s palace, Lagos Island.

According to eyewitness, the unfortunate incident occurred at about 11am, Thursday.

Men of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service, Nigeria Police, among other emergency responders were on ground searching for survivors.

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READ ALSO: Obaseki Has Paid N147m Counterpart Fund For LIFE-ND Agric Project, Says Coordinator

Recall that the latest incident happened barely four days ago, precisely on Sunday, when a Mosque collapsed at Yusuf Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin area, killing at least three worshippers, including a 12 year-old boy in the process.

Details later…

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Terrorists Kill 12 In Kaduna Market Attack

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Terrorists, on Wednesday, reportedly attacked and killed 12 persons at Maro Junction, a weekly Market in Maro Ward, Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

A former chairman of the local government, Cafra Caino, who confirmed the development to The PUNCH, said the assailants invaded the market around 3pm on Wednesday and opened fire.

According to him, 12 bodies have been recovered while 20 others who sustained various degrees of injuries have been taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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He explained that it was the second time the weekly market had been attacked while business owners and customers transacting businesses.

READ ALSO: ‘Misplaced Priority,’ Nigerians Slam Govt For Reinstating Old National Anthem

“The situation is critical and has thrown residents around the area into confusion while they scampered for safety in neighbouring villages.

“Security operatives drafted to the area have already left. We are appealing to the government to deploy security operatives to help restore normalcy,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, did not respond to calls and text messages sent to him by The PUNCH correspondent as of the time of filling this report.

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