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Kaduna Community Laments Eight-Year Blackout




Residents of Dan Lawal, Kurmin Kogi Ward, in the Ikara Local Government area of Kaduna State, are lamenting the continued blackout being witnessed in the community.

PUNCH Metro learnt that trouble started in the area in 2015 when a rainstorm wreaked havoc in the community, destroying electricity infrastructures like electric poles and others.

Our correspondent gathered that while the community was still grappling with the reality of the blackout that followed the destruction by the rainstorm, some vandals also descended on the area stealing cables and other electric installations.

Efforts to restore power to the community, it was learnt, had not yielded any positive results so far.

The eight-year blackout, it was further learnt, had crippled businesses in the community just as it had also compounded the security situation in the area.

Small and medium-scale entrepreneurs who rely on electricity for their business were said to have relocated from the community.

Some residents who spoke with our correspondent lamented the failure of relevant bodies to restore power to the community.

A resident, Yunusa Dan’Mairo, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone, regretted that the last time residents of the community enjoyed a power supply was in 2015.

Dan’Mairo, a graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said efforts to have the light restored by the community leaders yielded no results as several appeals to political officeholders including the local government had yielded no significant effect.

He said, “In 2015, the community witnessed a rainstorm destroying some electric poles, which was followed by electric wires/cables theft including some wires from two transformers.

“We have transformers in the following villages surrounding Dan Lawal and Kurmin Kogi Ward: Tashar Hassan, Kankanki, Unguwar Barau. Two transformers were affected by the cable theft. There was also an issue of vandalism by criminal gangs after the issue of the rainstorm. The traditional rulers have tried to restore electricity since 2015 but to no avail.

“Lack of electricity here has scuttled the community’s development as small and medium enterprises that the community people relied on have been made stagnant.

“Those who are into businesses such as grinding, welding, blacksmithing works, barbing businesses, laundry, as well as doors and window construction works have since deserted following the protracted blackout.”

Claiming that all efforts to get the attention of the authority to accede to their demands had all failed to generate any result, Dan’Mairo said the community was working on lobbying newly-elected public officeholders for a way out of the blackout.

“As members of the community, we have agreed, now that we have a new member in the state House of Assembly as well as the House of Representatives, to draft letters and follow it up because the community has been suffering. We want to see what we can do with this,” he said.

The traditional head of the community, Dalhatu Muhammed, told PUNCH Metro that the community had not been able to send any letter to the state government, noting that their complaint had only been restricted to the local government.

“We only spoke about the problems to the local government. We notified the local government office. We made the local government authority aware of our predicament,” Muhammed, who is the Turakin Dan Lawal, said.

When contacted, the Head of Corporate Communication, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Abdullahi Abdulazeez, said the firm was not aware of the blackout, noting that the community should have written to the company.

“I am not aware. I am hearing this for the first time. What have they done about it? Have they written to the company and are there any communications they have sent to the company about what has been happening? If they had written to us about it, I could give you a concrete response,” Abdulazeez.

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NIS Will Focus More On Passport Insurance, Staff Welfare – New Ag. CG



The newly appointed Acting Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Caroline Adepoju, has promised to promote staff welfare and passport insurance.

Adepoju, therefore, directed all passport offices nationwide to take necessary steps to ensure no Nigerian is subjected to unnecessary delays or substandard treatment in the course of applying for passports.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Comptroller of Immigration, Mr. Tony Akuneme, in Abuja, yesterday.

The Acting CG read the riot act, when she addressed top management of the NIS minutes after taking over from Alhaji Isah Jere, her immediate predecessor.

Adepoju affirmed that she would focus majorly on passport issues and staff welfare as those two aspects contribute mostly to the complaints of Nigerians and NIS personnel.

She announced that a stakeholders meeting would be convened in the next few days to x-ray the real issues in passport process and proffer far-reaching solutions.

This, she said, would include opening more front offices in the Lagos area, where the bulk of complaints emanate from.

Adepoju equally said she would adopt a bottom-top approach in tackling officers’ welfare.

“We will start by meeting all cadres of staff to hear their genuine needs, in a bid to hit the ground running with a blue print that will be based on an all inclusive needs assessment,” she said.

She appreciated the immediate past Comptroller General for making positive impact on the service during his tenure and asked God to guide him in his future endeavours.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adepoju had served in various locations during her career in the NIS.

Until her appointment, she was the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Finance.

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Tinubu Reinstates Sanity As DSS, EFCC Squabble Over Property In Lagos




A protracted conflict between Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a building at No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, appeared to have taken a dirty twist, yesterday.

The incident, however, earned a place in the archive of the new administration as one of the first interventions by President Bola Tinubu, who was sworn in barely 24 hours earlier.

Operatives of the DSS had barricaded entrance to the EFCC’s office, located at the said building, leading the anti-graft agency to issue a protest statement.

Meanwhile, the DSS issued a counter statement, denying it barricaded the premises, and claiming it was “only occupying its own” facility.

According to a statement released by presidential spokesman, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu “directed DSS to immediately vacate the office of the EFCC in Ikoyi, Lagos,” adding, “if there were issues between the two important agencies of government, they would be resolved amicably.”

EFCC’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, described the incident as bizarre, given that both agencies had shared the controversial facility for decades.

The statement reads: “Operatives of the Lagos Command of the EFCC arrived at their office on No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, this morning, May 30, 2023, to be denied entry by agents of the DSS, who had barricaded the entrance with armoured personnel carriers.

“This development is strange to the Commission, given that we have cohabited with the DSS in that facility for 20 years without incident.

“By denying operatives access to their offices, the Commission’s operations at its largest hub, with over 500 personnel, hundreds of exhibits, and many suspects in detention have been disrupted.

Cases scheduled for court hearing today have been aborted, while many suspects who had been invited for questioning are left unattended.

“Even more alarming is that suspects in detention are left without care, with grave implications for their rights as inmates. All of these have wider implications for the nation’s fight against economic and financial crimes.

“The siege is inconsistent with the synergy expected of agencies working for the same government and nation, especially when there are ongoing discussions on the matter.”

DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, however, said: “It is not correct that the DSS barricaded EFCC from entering its office. No. It is not true. The Service is only occupying its own facility where it is carrying out its official and statutory responsibility.

“By the way, there is no controversy over No 15 Awolowo Road, as being insinuated by the media. Did the EFCC tell you it is contesting ownership of the building? I will be surprised if it is contesting the ownership.

“Awolowo Road was NSO headquarters. SSS/DSS started from there. It is a common knowledge. It is a historical fact. Check it out.

“There is no rivalry between the Service and the EFCC over and about anything. Please, do not create any imaginary one. They are great partners working for the good of the nation. Dismiss any falsehood of a fight.”


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Three Killed While Travelling To Attend Inauguration Of New Ebonyi Governor, Nwifuru




The victims who hailed, from Izzi Local Government Area, the home town of the new governor, Francis Nwifuru, were said to have died in a ghastly motor accident on their way to Abakaliki.

Three persons travelling to attend Monday’s swearing-in ceremony in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Southeast Nigeria, have reportedly been killed.

The victims who hailed, from Izzi Local Government Area, the home town of the new governor, Francis Nwifuru, were said to have died in a ghastly motor accident on their way to Abakaliki.

Although the details of the accident were still sketchy, reports claimed many others also sustained varying degrees of injury.

According to one report, the vehicle carrying the victims had gone to Izzi to pick up villagers. Unfortunately, while they were travelling from the local government area to Abakaliki, one of the car tyres was deflated. 

Those injured in the accident have reportedly been moved to the Ebonyi Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki.

The swearing-in ceremony in the state, like it is happening across the country today (Monday), is holding at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki.

Meanwhile, efforts made by SaharaReporters to speak with the State Police Public Relations Officer SP, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, were unsuccessful as she didn’t answer her calls.

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