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Blackout: Taraba Govt Demands FG To Quickly Restore Power Supply To N-E

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By Sani Yarima

The Taraba State government has expressed displeasure about the negligence of the Federal Government to restore the power supply to the North-east region for almost a month.

Engineer Naomi Tanko Agbu, the state Commissioner of Energy and Economic Development aired this position during a press conference in Jalingo. 

She described the vandalization of the transmission towers as deliberate which undermines the stability of the region’s electrical system, putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

“I am deeply saddened by the recent disruption in electricity supply caused by the vandalization of four (4) transmission line towers along the Jos-Gombe 330kV line on 22 April 2024.

Engr. Agbu maintained that “these critical components of our electrical grid serve as lifelines, delivering power to homes, businesses, hospitals, and essential services.” 

According to her, the Taraba State Government has contacted the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu but no positive response yet, for the weeks of blackout to a state capital such as Jalingo in the nation.

Naomi Agbu emphasized that the lengthy time to respond to this matter is concerning as it shows complete neglect by the Federal Government of Nigeria to Taraba state and the North-east region. 

“These senseless acts of sabotage have not only jeopardized the reliability of electrical infrastructure in the North-East region but have also resulted in widespread inconvenience and hardship for our community, plunging millions into blackout,” she lamented. 

The Commissioner further revealed that recent reports they received, have shown spikes in crimes and insecurity issues for a region like the North-East that is already endangered. 

She, however, noted that the cascading effects on their regional economy, especially in terms of food production cannot be exaggerated.

She added that the economic vandalism of transmission line towers represents a blatant disregard for the well-being and prosperity of their region. 

“This issue is a federal matter and I want to assure you that we are taking this matter very seriously and we have been working tirelessly with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) to address the situation. 

“We, as a Ministry waited in addressing the public until significant progress has commenced by the FGN, of which we have been informed that TCN has handed over the site to the contractor and restoration works have commenced.

“As you know, the role of the government is the protection of lives and properties of its people. Our priority is the restoration of electricity supply to affected areas quickly and safely,” says Agbu. 

Engr. Naomi Tanko Agbu recalled that in 2023, Governor Agbu Kefas presented to the public his five (5) finger agenda that revolves around education; health; women and youth empowerment; security, peace, and unity; economic development, and job creation. 

Additionally, she emphasized that his dreams for a better Taraba cannot be allowed to be cut short due to economic sabotage to the electricity supply to the state, as energy is a key driver to the sectors and economic prosperity.   

“The Governor has made great strides in less than one (1) year in office in ensuring that he rewrites the history of the state, he delivers in terms of economic progress for the state, while also laying fundamental foundations for the institutions in Taraba state. 

In conclusion, Engr. Naomi Agbu emphasized the need for the Nigerian government to implement a robust plan, such as the North-East ring circuit proposed in the TCN expansion plan. 

This plan would connect the North-East region to the South of Nigeria and has been widely demanded. Therefore, it should be implemented immediately by the Federal Government.

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Religion

Pilgrimage: TSCPWB Commences Screening, Taraba Govt Sponsors 163 To Israel 

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By Sani Yarima 

The screening process for the intending pilgrims to the Holy Land of Israel began on Wednesday, 5/6/2024 in Taraba State. 

Cecilia Ashu, the Executive Secretary of the Christian Pilgrimage Welfare Board, revealed this during an interview with the press in Jalingo. 

She mentioned that the screening exercise for the 2023/2024 Christian Easter Pilgrimage had been combined, as last year’s trip was canceled, and this year’s pilgrimage is scheduled to take place from November to December.

Ashu disclosed that, so far, the Board has screened over 130 out of the total 163 intending pilgrims, who are sponsored by the Taraba state government.

Ashu also reassured the intending pilgrims of their safety, noting that a delegation from Nigeria, including officials of the National Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) and representatives from various states, is expected to return on Thursday, 6/6/2024, after a pre-visit to the promised land. 

She expressed gratitude to Governor Agbu Kefas for his commitment to transforming the state and offered prayers for his wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of governance.

Furthermore, the Executive Secretary encouraged those who have not undergone screening to do so and advised individuals who have previously been on the pilgrimage and have another opportunity, to give the chance to their loved ones, so that they too can visit the Holy Land. 

In conclusion, Cecilia Ashu prayed to God for a successful screening exercise, a safe journey to the promised land, and a safe return.

Meanwhile, four million, nine hundred thousand (4.9m) was paid per individual for the trip, totaling seven hundred and ninety-eight million, seven hundred thousand naira (N798,700,000).

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Hajj 2024: Gov Kefas Wishes Intending Pilgrims Success, Warns Against Carrying Contraband 

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By Sani Yarima 

Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State has warned the intending Muslim pilgrims for this year’s Hajj exercise from the state, not to carry any contraband item to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The governor gave the warning during his farewell address at the Model Primary School temporary Hajj camp in Jalingo. 

Represented by his Special Adviser on Islamic Religious Matters, Malam Hussaini Isma’il, governor Kefas also called on the intending pilgrims to abide by the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia to enable them to perform their religious duty as prescribed by Allah successfully.

Governor Kefas explained that as a Chief Host to the intending pilgrims, he made arrangements to ensure that they stayed comfortably in the camp, including medical facilities to look after their health right from home, and to the holy land. 

He said the state government has appointed a powerful delegation and people with impeccable characters as the 2024 Amirul Hajj Team under the leadership of Lamdo Gashaka, HRH Dr. Zubairu Hammangabdo to ensure the welfare of the intending pilgrims in conjunction with the officials of the pilgrim’s Board.

Governor Agbu Kefas, further revealed that the government has appointed Twenty-One (21) Officials including the Medical Team with enough funds to purchase drugs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to look after its pilgrims’s health.

According to him, the Taraba State Government has placed great importance on religion which led to the sponsoring of one hundred and seventeen (117) individuals to perform this year’s Hajj despite its lean financial resources, and implored all the intending pilgrims to be good ambassadors of the state, and the nation at large while in Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, governor Kefas urged them to pray for the nation and its leaders for peace and tranquility to reign, as well as to encourage peaceful coexistence between the two major religions as “We are all created by one God and we are sure of going to him at the end.” 

Furthermore, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Malam Husseini Isma’il appealed to the intending pilgrims to specially pray fervently for Governor Agbu Kefas, Taraba State, and Nigeria while in Saudi Arabia, a request that was assured by them.

Earlier in an address of welcome, the Chairman of the Taraba State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Malam Umar Gambo appreciated Governor Agbu Kefas for his effort and urged him to open his door no matter how little for them to have access to him without intermediary.

He mentioned the lack of an official operational vehicle as one of their major challenges and assured Governor Kefas that with the caliber of people in the Amirul Hajj Team, they will not disappoint him, as well as urged the intending pilgrims to abide by the rules and remain patient at all times. 

In a remark, the 2024 Amirul Hajj from the state who is also the Lamdo Gashaka, HRH Dr. Zubairu Hammangabdo described his appointment as not only an honor to him, the traditional institutions, but a booster that will enable him to continue putting in his best for the progress and development of the state. 

He said that members of the government delegation entrusted with the entire Welfare of Pilgrims, have collectively resolved to leave no stone unturned in ensuring hitch-free Hajj Operation. 

Interestingly, HRH Dr. Zubairu Hammangabdo further told the governor that all intending pilgrims were properly enlightened on what they are expected of, both in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

He revealed that they have been equally provided with all necessary traveling documents and uniforms for easy identification to reduce the cases of loss of Pilgrims in the Holy Land. 

However, the Amirul Hajj thanked Governor Agbu Kefas for the confidence reposed in them and the provision of all the necessary logistics to the Board for its operation, as well as assured him that they would not fail in their assignment.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Ahmed Chiroma appreciated Governor Agbu Kefas for his support and commitment and called on the intending pilgrims to desist from any act that could tarnish the image of the state and the nation as a whole while in Saudi Arabia.

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1 Year Anniversary: Muslim Community Offers Special Prayers For Gov Kefas 

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By Sani Yarima 

The Muslim community in Taraba State held a special prayer session to mark Governor Agbu Kefas’ one year in office.

The prayers took place at the Government House Juma’at Masjid and were led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Islamic Religious Matters, Malam Husseini Isma’il. 

The prayer session was attended by a diverse group, including religious and non-religious organizations such as the Muslim Council, the Taraba State Forum of Islamic Preachers, the Traders Association, and the Tailors Association of Nigeria, among others.

During the prayers, the Muslim Ummah lauded Governor Agbu Kefas for his exceptional leadership qualities and unwavering dedication to the progress of the state. 

Islamic scholars from various sections also spoke highly of Dr. Kefas’s exceptional leadership and his commitment to driving progress in the state. 

They expressed gratitude to the Governor for his efforts in ensuring peace and security, as well as inclusiveness, and prayed for continued success and Allah’s guidance in his leadership journey.

The Special Adviser to Governor Agbu Kefas on Islamic Religious Matters, Malam Husseini Isma’il, highlighted some of the achievements recorded within the Governor’s one year in office, including free education, reviewed school fees for tertiary institutions, expansion of Kashimbila International Airport, restructuring and expansion of the Danbaba Suntai Airport in Jalingo, and the enrollment of 1,000 retired LG staff into the pension scheme, among others.

Malam Husseini Isma’il also emphasized the impact of Governor Agbu Kefas’s leadership, describing it as commendable. 

He announced that the Muslim Ummah emphasized the possibility of progress and achieving greater heights together as the people of Taraba State. 

He closed with prayers for the Governor’s success and prosperity.

Additionally, a former Commissioner in the state and Chairman of the Kefas Palliative Committee, Alhaji Sale Sa’ad, prayed for Allah to grant Dr. Kefas more strength and wisdom to continue with the good work of transforming the state and improving the livelihood of the people.

The Special prayers were attended by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Aminu Abdullahi Alkali, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, the ALGON Chairman and Jalingo LGC Chairman, Alhaji Aminu Jauro Hassan, the state Commissioner of Science and Technology, Alhaji Muslim, and the former Chairman of the Jalingo LGC, Alhaji Nasiru Bobboji, among many others.

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