14 November 2012

Nigeria: Wamakko - Alleged Beating of PHCN Staff Is 'Political Joke'

London, Sokoto — Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko has described allegations that he beat up some officials of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) as a "political joke."

Two officials of PHCN in Sokoto claimed that the governor allegedly flogged them in his office for failing to provide electricity in Wamakko and other towns in the state after allegedly collecting money for the purpose.

PHCN recently carried out its threat of plunging the state in darkness at the expiration of a deadline given the governor to apologise for his alleged action, while the NLC had threatened mass action in the state if the governor failed to apologise.

But fielding questions from the press in London yesterday, the governor said the saga is typical of what Nigerians do if they want to play mischief in order to blackmail their opponents.

"It is a political joke. In Nigeria, people play politics blindfolded and resort to all kinds of mischief to blackmail their opponents"

"I have been in government for 41 years. I have no history of violence in my life and in my career. That's all I can tell you."

When asked how he would resolve the stand- off between the PHCN and his government, Wamakko simply said: "There is no issue. That's all I want you to know."

Governor Wamakko had earlier delivered a lecture on Security and Sustainable Development in Northern Nigeria at Chatham House, Central London.

Meanwhile, some residents of Sokoto have dragged the PHCN to a State High Court for alleged breach of contract over the recent blackout in the state.

The residents who are 10 in number are claiming N100 million for damages they allegedly suffered during the blackout.

In the suit filed by their counsel, Barrister Jibril Uwadiae, the plaintiffs who claimed to be PHCN customers, stated that between November 2 and November 6, without notice, PHCN disconnected electricity supply because of a face-off between the defendant and the governor.

They argued that they were not members of the family of the governor and that their power bills were not paid by the governor and wondered why should suffer for the sin of another person on the matter.

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