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Protest, Unrest Looms As BEDC Disconnects UNIBEN From National Grid

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Students and staff of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, are sitting on the edge of provocation that could lead to unrest and strike over power outage in the school which has been on for over a month now.

The issue has now been compounded as the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC Plc, the power distribution company in Edo State, servicing the school, last week formally disconnected the school from its services as a result of non-payment of bills.

The reason behind the electricity crisis is attributed to the recent increase in electricity tariff for some categories of consumers as approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC ) which reportedly shot up the university’s monthly electricity bill from N80 million to over N250 million.

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The non-availability of electricity on the campus is putting a strain on the students and staff as they, including lecturers, have resorted to using solar powered facilities including lights in their offices with others using generators.

READ ALSO: Police Crack Down On Pro-Palestine Protest, Arrest Six Shi’ites In Abuja

The health centre at the Ugbowo campus is worst hit as health officials don’t have access to light from 10 pm when the three hours the school put on its generating set is exhausted daily and at times, workers on night duty use torchlights.

Strategic offices including the secretariat of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) run on generators and there is no substantive Students Union Government (SUG) since the union was disbanded after some of its officials invaded the Senior Staff Quarters when a governorship candidate was their guest, an action that was seen as an affront on the management and staff of the university by the students.

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The students are at the mercy of the management of the school as at now.

The BEDC disconnected the university from its services following their inability to reach agreement over the contentious electricity billing.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Police Arrest Suspected Killer Of Fresh UNIBEN Graduate In Delta

The obvious implication is that staff cannot deliver on their work 100 percent “because it is only the administrative block that the generator can power throughout working hours” and the students cannot have a conducive environment to learn.

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When contacted, the Head, Branding and Corporate Communications of BEDC, Mrs. Evelyn Gbiwen, attributed the increase in energy tariff to the directive of the NERC. “The new tariff system determines what ‘Band A’ customers would pay, there is nothing deliberate about any customer.

“It is a general policy that when customers don’t pay their bills, they will be disconnected. And it is when such a customer pays his bills that he would be reconnected,” she added.

The Public Relations Officer of the University, Mrs Beneditta Ehanire, when contacted said “Management is bending backwards really but will continue to sue for patience because everyone is tensed. Yesterday, a tanker was engaged to supply water to a hostel that had a water challenge.”

READ ALSO: 22-year-old UNIBEN Graduate Beaten, Raped To Death, Family Seeks Justice

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The statement the University issued a few weeks ago said the University paid the over eighty million Naira monthly bill up till April, 2024 in the two campuses of Ugbowo and Ekehuan.

“The delay to Pay the May bill is as a result of the disputed astronomically increased bill of over two hundred and fifty million naira, monthly, thrust on the University by BEDC.

“Despite the challenges, Management of the University has gone the length to ensure that students do not suffer unduly by providing generator light to all the hostels between the hours of 6am to 7am and 7pm to 10pm daily.

“Management appeals once again to staff and students to be patient and to demonstrate understanding of the situation as it is also exploring alternative power sources including solar energy.”

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UAE Resumes Visa Issuance To Nigerians

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The Federal Government and the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have signed an agreement for the resumption of visa issuance to travellers with Nigerian passports wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, said the agreement took immediate effect.

He said, “You are aware that Nigeria has been discussing with the United Arab Emirates on the issue of visas for Nigerian passport holders going to the United Arab Emirates.

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READ ALSO: Japa: 7 Common Reasons Application For Canada Student Visa Gets Rejected

“Today, an agreement has been reached on that, and effective from today 15th July, Nigerian passport holders are able to obtain visa to go to the United Arab Emirates.

“Details of that will be provided to you latter today when we put out a statement.

“But I can tell you that the agreement has been reached, and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so.”

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Elon Musk,World Leaders, Celebrities, Others React To failed Ass@sination Attempt On Trump

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World leaders, celebrities and the global online community have expressed disgust at the attempted assassination of former US president Donald Trump while he was holding a rally on Saturday, July 13.

Butler County district attorney Richard Goldinger said in a phone interview that the suspected gunman was dead and at least one attendee was killed after gunshots rang through the crowd as former President Donald Trump spoke at a rally Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania.

House Speaker Mike Johnson was the first Republican to put out a statement in the moments after the party’s presumptive presidential nominee was rushed off the stage with blood streaming from his ear.

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“Praying for President Trump,” Johnson simply wrote on X.

Former US President George W. Bush says he is “grateful” that former President Donald Trump is safe.

Laura and I are grateful that President Trump is safe following the cowardly attack on his life. And we commend the men and women of the Secret Service for their speedy response,” Bush said in his statement.

US president and Trump’s opponent in the coming election, Joe Biden, wished Trump quick recovery.

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“I have been briefed on the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Pennsylvania,” Biden wrote. “I’m grateful to hear that he’s safe and doing well.”

Biden added: “I’m praying for him and his family and for all those who were at the rally, as we await further information. Jill and I are grateful to the Secret Service for getting him to safety. There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it.”

Former President Barack Obama said in a statement that “There is absolutely no place for political violence in our democracy.”

He added that while details were still scarce, “we should all be relieved that former President Trump wasn’t seriously hurt, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to civility and respect in our politics.”

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“As one whose family has been the victim of political violence, I know firsthand that political violence of any kind has no place in our society,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

“I thank God that former President Trump is safe. As we learn more details about this horrifying incident, let us pray that all those in attendance at the former President’s rally today are unharmed.” she added

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said on the social platform X that his thoughts and prayers are with former President Trump. “I am thankful for the decisive law enforcement response,” he said. “America is a democracy. Political violence of any kind is never acceptable.”

North Dakota Sen. Doug Burgum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. JD Vance, the three men on Trump’s shortlist for vice president, all quickly sent out statements expressing concern for the former president.

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Rubio shared an image taken as Trump was escorted off stage with his fist in the air and a streak of blood on his face along with the words, “God protected President Trump.”

“I am horrified by what happened at the Trump rally in Pennsylvania and relieved that former President Trump is safe. Political violence has no place in our country,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer in a statement.

Billionaire Tesla CEO, Elon Musk tweeted that his vote will be going to Trump in the coming election .

 

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Mut!lated Bodies Of Women Discovered At Abandoned Quarry In Kenya

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Six severely mut!lated bodies of women wrapped in polythene bags have been found at an abandoned quarry used as a dumpsite in Kware near Mukuru kwa Njenga in Nairobi, Kenya.

The grim discovery made on Friday morning, July 12, 2024 has sent shockwaves through Mukuru kwa Njenga slums and beyond.

According to an eyewitness who spoke to Citizen Digital, the bodies had visible injuries and had been tied with ropes.

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The eyewitness called on the government to investigate the killings to determine what happened to the women who are yet to be positively identified

“A woman came and told me that she dreamt of the whereabouts of her missing sister and wanted us to go and retrieve her body. We doubted her at first and as we approached the scene, spotted a wrapped polythene bag,” said the eyewitness.

READ ALSO:Seven Sentenced To Life Imprisonment In S’Africa For B*rning Two Sisters To D@ath Over Alleged Witchcraft

Upon examining the area, we found several bodies wrapped in the polythene bags with some being cut into pieces and tied with ropes. If they lived nearby, we would have heard of the reports which means that these bodies were transferred to this location. We want the government to investigate this matter.”

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Police officers arrived and cordoned off the area.

The bodies were transferred to City Mortuary as the search gets underway to positively identify them.

Law Society of Kenya President Faith Odhiambo called for police to investigate the matter to establish what transpired.

We need investigations to be done! Unacceptable,” she said.

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations in a statement, confirmed that six bodies have been retrieved from the abandoned quarry.

READ ALSO: Heated Rhetoric As Republicans Blame Biden For Trump Shooting

The DCI said that all six bodies were females and had been killed in the same mode.

The Director of Criminal Investigations Mohamed Amin, said the bodies were severely mutilated and were in various stages of decomposition

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“Earlier today at approximately 1100hrs, the Embakasi Division Police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) responded to an urgent call from the public in the Villa area of Mukuru kwa Njenga,” Amin said.

“The alarm was raised following the discovery of six severely mutilated bodies, all female, in various stages of decomposition.”

READ ALSO: Trump Releases Statement After His Assassination Attempt

He said the bodies were wrapped in nylon papers and reinforced with nylon ropes.

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The discovery was made at an abandoned quarry, currently filled with water and used as a dump site,”

Amin added that the Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) personnel from Embakasi quickly arrived at the scene, retrieving the bodies and documenting the area.

The bodies have been transported to the Nairobi Funeral Home (City Mortuary) to await postmortem.

“Homicide detectives and officers from the Forensics Division of the DCI are currently analysing samples to identify the bodies,” he added.

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The area has been cordoned off and designated as a crime scene as the investigation continues.

Amin called on Kenyans to cooperate with the authorities as investigations continue as probe continues.

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