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Minister who uses wheelchair denied entry to Cop26 venue


Minister who uses wheelchair denied entry to Cop26 venue

An Israeli minister has described how she was denied entry to the Cop26 summit because as a wheelchair user she was unable to access the Glasgow venue, criticising the refusal to accommodate her as “outrageous”.

Karine Elharrar, Israel’s energy and water resources minister, who has muscular dystrophy, waited for two hours outside after organisers refused to let her enter the compound in the vehicle in which she had arrived, she said.

Her office said she was eventually offered a shuttle transport to the summit area, but the shuttle was not wheelchair-accessible, forcing her to return to her hotel in Edinburgh.

Elharrar wrote on Twitter: “I came to Cop26 to meet with my counterparts around the world and promote a common struggle in the climate crisis. It is sad that the UN, which promotes accessibility for people with disabilities, in 2021, does not provide accessibility to its events.”

An official in Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett’s delegation said they had formally complained to organisers, the Times of Israel reported. Bennett reportedly said Elharrar’s vehicle would arrive at the summit area on Tuesday as part of his official convoy, thus ensuring her entry.

The UK environment secretary, George Eustice, said: “We deeply regret that incident.” He added there appeared to be a miscommunication and organisers were not aware of her requirements in advance and so had not made the right provisions at the particular entrance she was coming to.

“I know that at most of the other entrances, wheelchair access is there. It was because she came to an entrance where they didn’t have that provision,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, adding action should have been taken to resolve the issue.

The UK ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, tweeted that he had apologised “deeply and sincerely” to the minister. “We want a Cop summit that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone,” he wrote.

The Foreign Office minister James Cleverly, tweeted: “I am deeply disappointed and frustrated that minister @KElharrar could not access COP today. The Cop venue is designed to be accessible for all. I have spoken to the minister about this and I look forward to meeting her tomorrow.”

Elharrar told Israel’s Channel 12 news :“The only way they said I could come in was to walk on foot for almost a kilometer, or to board a shuttle which was not wheelchair-accessible.”

She told that organisers blocked all roads leading to the conference and left her out despite the Israeli delegation’s best efforts to convince security to let her in.

“It was impossible to get in with a car and I could not make that distance independently,” she said. “It’s outrageous conduct and it should not have happened. I came for certain purposes and could not achieve them today, but there will be other opportunities.

“The UN calls on everyone to act in accordance with the international convention and to make places accessible, so it is fitting that its events should be accessible. I sincerely hope that today’s lesson will be learned so that tomorrow promoting green energies, removing barriers and energy efficiency will be the only things I have to deal with.”

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TCN Restores National Grid

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has announced the restoration of the national grid after its partial collapse on Monday.

This was made known by Mrs Ndidi Mbah, TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs in a statement in Abuja.

Mbah said that the national grid experienced partial system disturbance at about 10.51 am, as a result of a sudden drop in system frequency, which created system instability.

She said that the restoration of the affected grid commenced immediately at 11.55 am with Osogbo/Ihovbor, followed by Jebba/Osogbo, Kainji/Jebba, Benin/Onitsha, Shiroro/Kaduna, Shiroro/Katampe and Alaoji/Ikot-Ekpene.

Others are Lokoja/Gwagwalada, Odukpani/Ikot Ekpene, Benin/Omotosho, Oke-Aro/Ikeja west, Egbin/Oke-Aro and Kaduna/Kano.

She said the grid restoration has almost been completed, adding that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) regrets any inconveniences caused.

Mbah said NESI appreciated the understanding of electricity customers within and outside the country.

According to her, NESI is committed to leveraging the concerted interventions instituted so far to enhance power supply reliability so that the issue of system disturbance will soon become outdated.

She said the National Control Centre would launch a full-scale investigation “to establish and ascertain the cause of the partial disturbance as this unwholesome event has resulted in aggregated generation loss.



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Chukwudi Ajaegbu, 35, Arraigned For $11,000 Fraud

A 35-year-old importer, Chukwudi Ajaegbu, has been arraigned before the Ogba Magistrate’s Court for allegedly obtaining $11,000 fraudulently from one Austine Ukaoha in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.

Ajaegbu appeared before Magistrate F.M. Onamusi on a three count charge.

The defendant, with others at large, were said to have conspired to commit felony, to wit stealing, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria 2015.

According to the police, sometime in 2010 on Bread Fraint Street, in the Balogun area of Lagos, the defendant, with others at large, conspired among themselves to obtain the sum under false pretences.

The charges read in part, “That you, Chukwudi Ajaegbu, on the same date, time and place, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did fraudulently obtain the sum of $11,000 from one Austine Ukaoha, under the pretence of importing goods from China, the presentation known to be false, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 314 (3) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria 2015.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Magistrate Onamusi adjourned the matter till December 7, 2022.

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2023: NBC Tasks Broadcasters On Professionalism

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has tasked broadcasters to handle political campaigns with professionalism.

The director-general of NBC, Balarabe Ilelah said this on Monday at a multi-stakeholders dialogue held in Abuja.

As campaigns for the 2023 elections are set to begin on September 28, Ilelah asked broadcasters to ensure not to allow hate speech or fake news on their platforms.

“This is in addition to ensuring equity in airtime allocation and coverage of political parties’ activities, particularly during prime times,” he said.

“It is also the time for you to make money from political adverts and campaigns, but ensure that this is done within the ambit of law.

“Broadcasters are also required to handle live political rallies with care and due professionalism. This is in addition to studio-based live political interviews/broadcasts. Because of the sensitivities of such programmes, broadcasters are advised to install delay mechanisms.

“Remember that broadcast stations are held responsible for any breach. The stations shall, therefore, assume and accept editorial responsibility”, he added.

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