On the noon of Friday, 15th March, 2024, the House Committee on Public Petitions ably led by the Quintesential Chairman of the Committee, Rt. Hon. Mike Etaba MHR, landed at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport for an official assessment/ investigation in Mbaise and Ngor-Okpalla LGAs. 

This is due to a petition by M. C. Chambers (Barr. Malachy Nwaekpe Esq.) on behalf of Mbaise District in Imo State, against Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Honourable Minister of Power, over abandonment of Aboh Mbaise Transmission Station, perenial blockout, extortion, total blackout and neglect of Mbaise and Ngor-Okpalla in Imo State. 

After hearing from both the petitioner and the respondents on various sessions, the Committee in its wisdom, decided to visit Mbaise nation and Ngor-Okpalla for proper investigation, in order to resolve the matter. 

As the petitioner prays for the following:

(1) Completion of the Transmission Station in Aboh Mbaise, which was approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2009. According to the petitioner, the project was fully cover under 2009 National Budget; and he does not know why a project of 2009 has not been completed till 2024. 

(2) According to the petitioner, the good people of Mbaise have been extorted for the past decades by EEDC through the estimated bill. Many Mbaise Communities have not experienced power supply for over five years. Yet, they are being forced to pay for what they did not use, through estimated bill. 

(3) Again, Mbaise District comprises of the three LGAs in Mbaise nation and about seven other LGAs which include Ngor-Okpalla. According to the petitioner, Mbaise District under EEDC, covering about ten LGAs, is too large to share a transmission station from far Egbu in Owerri. Therefore, TCN should quickly complete the abandoned Transmission Station in Aboh Mbaise and Umueleagwa Onicha in Ezinihitte Mbaise, as the people are sincerely suffering of no power supply. There can be no development of Mbaise nation without electricity supply. 

(4) Every building should be metered, to avoid the people paying for what they did not use. Estimated bill by EEDC is a means of exploitation, and it is very unfortunate. 

(5) Every transformer in Mbaise District should be upgraded from 300kVa to 500kVa as suggested by EEDC during the hearing, in order to stop supply of low voltage.  

It was a successful trip on Friday noon, as the Committee was massively welcomed by well-meaning and progresive sons and daughters of Mbaise and Ngor-Okpalla at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport. 

In their usual way as people of hospitality and entertainment, the good people of Mbaise welcomed the Committee with the great Abigbo Mbaise cultural dance, organised by the wonderful Greater Mbaise Association. We cannot stop to appreciate a great and well-meaning son of Mbaise - Rev. Fr. Leo Eke who always comes from his Parish in far Ondo State to support anything concerning the growth and development of Mbaise nation. Fr. Leo is a member of the Greater Mbaise Association, and the good people of Mbaise cannot stop to appreciate the Association for its total support to the petitioner so far. It is very important to let the good people of Mbaise know that Greater Mbaise Association organised the logistics to mobilize our people, to make sure the event is successful.  

Moreover, it is good to let you know that Greater Mbaise is "non-political" organisation. Everything for the growth and development of Mbaise nation must not be political. 

We cannot stop to appreciate the petitioner - Barr. Malachy Nwaekpe who in his wisdom, pushed the petition to Public Petitions, in order to get justice for Mbaise District. Our people have really suffered because of poor or none electricity supply. We encourage of every well-meaning and progressive son and daughter of Mbaise, whether in government or not, to emulate Barr. Nwaekpe in contributing positively to whatever brings growth and development to Mbaise nation. May God Almighty reward him abundantly. 

Our sincere appreciation goes to someone I call Nwanne-Di-Na-Mba of Mbaise, the Quintesential Rt. Hon. Mike Etaba MHR, Chairman, Committee on Public Petitions, whose Committee has made sure Mbaise District is given total fair hearing. 

We also sincerely appreciate Hon. Attorney Mathew Nwogu, Member representing the good people of Aboh Mbaise/ Ngor-Okpalla Federal Constituency for always being there as both a Committee Member and also boldly speaking for his people. That is exactly what good representation should always be about. 

From Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, the Entourage first moved to Ibeku in Aboh Mbaise, where the Transmission Station is situated, for thorough assessment. From Ibeku, the noble Committee moved down to Okpofe in Ezinihitte Mbaise (Community of the petitioner) for further assessment. After thorough investigation in Okpofe, the Entourage shifted to Ihitte in Ezinihitte Mbaise for further assessment. While on the thorough investigation and assessment, an official homage was paid to the traditional ruler (Eze) of every community. 

As at the moment, the noble Committee has moved to the Capital City of Imo State, Owerri for some rest; as the official assignment continues tomorrow, Saturday, 16th March, 2024. 

Petitions are fundamental rights of citizens, and avenues by which they can have their voices heard on the floor of the Parliament. Any member of the public who is aggrieved may forward any petition through a serving member of the National Assembly or Clerk of the House Committee on Public Petitions. The major role of the Public Petitions Committee is *"fact-finding".* 

It is a wonderful platform for every citizen, no matter the political, religious or ethnic background. The Quintesential Chairman, Rt. Hon. Mike Etaba calls it *"The People's Parliament".* It is where citizens petition every organisation or individual, and is given fair hearing. It is where every Nigerian gets total justice, after thorough investigation and assessment. 

It is all about equity, fairness and justice. And we pray Mbaise District gets justice at the end. 

We cannot talk about growth and development of Mbaise nation, without good road network and electricity suppy. 

Mbaise aaahhh!!! 🖐️


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