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JUST IN: Ekiti Govt Kicks As BEDC Plans Two-month Power Outage In State

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The Ekiti state government has rejected the proposed plan by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to put the state in blackout for nine hours daily for the two months effective from July 1.

The government said that the planned power outage amounts to unacceptable economic, financial and social price to be paid by the citizens of the state.

The TCN and BEDC had in notices, announced that TCN’s schedule to carry out critical maintenance work on the 132kV Akure Osogbo transmission line which would involve the installation of Optical Ground Wire and other activities requiring outage on the affected network for safe working space.

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TCN and BEDC had stated that the maintenance would be between July 1 and August 31 and that there would be power outage in Ondo and Ekiti states for nine hours from 8am daily throughout the two-month period.

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But, the Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utility, Prof Bolaji Aluko said that the government was not informed nor was approval sought and obtained from the Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Bureau, saddled by law with the authority to regulate the electricity industry in Ekiti State.

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In a letter written by the Commissioner for Public Utility, Mobolaji Aluko, to the MD/CEO, TCN, the MD/CEO, BEDC and the Chairman, NERC Abuja, dated 30 June, the commissioner consequently called for the immediate suspension of the plan.

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He also called for an emergency meeting with the regional heads of TCN, BEDC and National Electricity Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, in his office in Ado Ekiti “to devise an alternative and far less adverse plan to achieve the same stated aims”.

The letter reads: “Our attention has been called to public notifications, both in print and in jingles in English and in Yoruba, of the intention of BEDC under advice by TCN to disrupt power supply to the transmission stations in Akure and Ado-Ekiti – and in effect to adversely affect the Ekiti State and Ondo State areas – for nine hours each day (8.00am to 5.00pm) from July 1, 2024 to August 31, 2024.

“We request prompt attention to this matter while we are eager to work collaboratively toward a sustainable solution that will benefit both citizens of the state and the Ekiti State Electricity Supply Industry.”

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Again, LP Chieftain Cheats Death In Rivers

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In less than three weeks after escaping assassination attempt in Waterside part of Rivers State, a chieftain of the Labour Party (LP) in the State, Mr Benjamin Chimezie narrowly escaped the bullets of the men of the underworld.

It would be recalled that Chimezie, a former Publicity Secretary of the LP in Rivers State had on May 28, 2024 escaped assassination attempt when his car was rained with bullets in Port Harcourt.

The second attempt on his life within 20 days occurred around Leadwort hotels at Rumuokoro where his car was trailed by some armed men on hood.

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Unlike the previous attempt on his life, Chimezie was said to be alone when his car was suddenly blocked by a black SUV car with covered plate number while trying to negotiate a bend to a street around the hotel.

Upon sensing danger when two occupants of the SUV came out of the car armed and aimed at his vehicle, Chimezie zoomed off hitting his assailants car in the process.

A member of his party who narrated the incident, said it was only by stroke of luck that he (Chimezie) escaped.

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The LP member who pleaded anonymity, lamented that the Police had yet to done nothing on the first reported incident when asked if the matter had been reported to the appropriate authority.

READ ALSO: Travelers Stranded In Rivers As Soldiers Block Road After IPOB Clash

We honestly understand what is happening and trust me, this won’t silence some of us from speaking the truth, even at the expense of our lives.

“They can pursue us to wherever they wish to, this will not however muffle our voices and we will continue to speak for the oppressed,” he stated.

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Attempt made to get the reaction of the State Command Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, proved abortive as she did not respond to her calls nor reply messages sent to her phone.

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LP Chieftain Escapes Assassination Attempt In Rivers

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A chieftain of the Labour Party and former Publicity Secretary of the party in Rivers State, Mr Benjamin Chimezie, on Tuesday escaped assassination attempt in Port Harcourt.

The incident was said to have occurred around Waterside area of Port Harcourt when armed men in an unnumbered Toyota vehicle opened fire on the car Chimezie was traveling in.

A Chieftain of the party in Andoni Local Government Area of the state, Allwell Obe, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said the former Publicity Secretary was in the vehicle in company of a friend when the assassination attempt was made.

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Obe said Chimezie had just arrived Port Harcourt from Andoni where he had traveled to for political meetings over the weekend when the incident happened.

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Obe who did not rule out the currently political crisis in the State as responsible for the assassination attempt, said that the former Publicity Secretary have maintained a dominant voice against the crisis.

“You know, Mr Chimezie is a strong willed personality and had always fought for an egalitarian society.

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“Perhaps, his positon in the present political crisis between the immediate past govenor of the State and his benefactor and incubent governor, has not gone down well with some persons.

“I am aware that he has received some unanimous calls and strange messages on his stand on the matter which didn’t slow him down,” he stated.

Obe called on security agencies, particularly the Nigerian Police to carryout investigation on the matter.

READ ALSO: Terrorism: Court Frees Rivers APC Chieftain After Two Years

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He said failure to do that may snowball into another era of political assassination that characterised the State in time past.

According to him, “This is not just about Chimezie, we are all not unaware of what happened in the past where people were killed in their number for lending their voices to the polity of the State.

“It’s my prayer that we don’t go back to such period. However, the law enforcement agency must do the needful to avoid that.

“All we agitate for as citizens of Rivers State is a peaceful society as only this will engender development across the State.”

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Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko who also confirmed the incident, said investigation has commenced on the matter.

“We are aware of the incident but can’t tell you how and what happens. All I can tell you is that we are investigating the incident,” she said.

The Police spokesperson however reiterated the command position to maintain a crime free State and warned all “evil marchants” to relocate from the State or be made to face the wrath of the law.

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Again, 14 Passengers Abducted On Lokoja/Abuja Highway

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No fewer than 14 persons have been reported abducted at Konto Kerifi along Lokoja/Abuja highway when armed men numbering over twenty stormed the highway on February 27, 2024.

A relative to one of the victims who narrated the story to our correspondent, explained that a Toyota Hilux bus that was attacked was an Abuja bound vehicle from Warri in Delta State.

The relative who gave his name as David Akio said his brother, Jordan Odi, a former aide to the honourable Minister of Environment was one of the persons taken inside the Kogi forest by the armed men.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: One Kidnapped As Gunmen Shoot 3 Poly Students In Nasarawa

He disclosed that the abductors have demanded ransom of N25 million from the victim.

Akio who appealed for help, said this would be the second time in less than a year his brother would fall victim in the hands of kidnappers.

According to him, “I’m as confused as the huge ransom demanded; where can we get such an amount of money, the first ransom the family paid to secure his freedom during the first abduction was N8 million and another N25 million is being demanded just within a few months. The family had to practically sell all we had to secure his freedom in the first encounter with these men.

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“Now this; we are appealing for assistance from well meaning Nigerians for him to be freed and safely return home to us.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Gunmen In Bayelsa Community, Recover Arms

“His only offence is traveling to Abuja just the same way he was heading to Port Harcourt when the first kidnap took playced on September 15, 2023.

“To be precise, he was abducted around Okogbe community along Ahoada, with two others where he spent eight days in captivity for us to raise the money demanded to secure his release.

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“He was only a former aide to the Minister of Environment who has nothing to do at the moment. It is sad that the country is no longer safe for the commoners whose only offence is to be a Nigerian.

“He is yet to fully come out of that last trauma when this happened.”

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