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FG says states must key into open defecation-free campaign for progress, sustainability



The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, says for Nigeria to make progress in the open defecation-free (ODF) campaign, states must key into the process and show more political will.

Adamu, who spoke at the ongoing Nigeria Media Water Week in Abuja on Tuesday, said it is worrisome that only few states have inaugurated their roadmap towards ending the open defecation practice.

According to him, whatever policy that the Federal Government is doing is not meant for it alone, but for the states and the entire nation.

“State governments need to key into these programmes. What we are saying is that the key to the success of this open defecation campaign is with how much state actors are willing to prioritise it to give it all the political support that it is getting at the national level.


“If the political will at the national level is similarly obtained at the state level, I think we can quickly get rid of this problem, but if we at the national level are driving a programme and it is not getting the same push at the state and local government levels, then that is a huge challenge’’.

He said the entire ODF campaign is hinged on advocacy and behaviour change for everyone to build and use their toilets, saying the Federal government would continue to pass that message with the state governments.

The minister noted that annually, the ministry, in partnership with the development partners, brings out the Water, Sanitation Routine Mapping (WASHNORM) survey to ensure that progress is made to improve WASH in parts of the country.

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“We are monitoring how much states have fared in terms of improving access to potable water and toilets, handwashing and we share it with the states.

“I believe that at some point, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) may come on board, naming and shaming activities may begin to unfold just the same way it is happening in India.


“Kids were given whistles, if they fund anyone defecating openly, they would blow the whistles and harass them to stop, that was how the ODF was achieved’’.

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Adamu added that the ministry had inherited 116 ongoing and abandoned projects, with some lacking funding, and those not viable were dropped and others prioritised to be completed in stages.

The ministry said since 2015, it had pursued the goal of completing the many inherited hydropower projects across the country and had recorded successes in this direction, explaining it is not privatising its dams, rather some of the facilities are on concession, particularly those for power generation.

Also, Adamu outlined nine completed and ongoing hydropower projects being prepared to add 2,672 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, consisting of nine projects located in five states including Kaduna, Taraba, Gombe, Benue and Nasarawa.


They include the 30MW Gurara I hydropower project in Kaduna, completed and put on concession; 360MW Gurara II plant, also in Kaduna, with its engineering, procurement and construction contract already awarded.

Others are the Kashimbila, Dadin-Kowa and Itisi hydropower projects with capacities for 40MW each and located in Taraba, Gombe and Kaduna states respectively.

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The government said both the Kashimbila and Dadin-Kowa hydropower projects had been completed and are ready for concession, while a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on the Itisi project.

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Diri to open defence at Bayelsa petition tribunal next week



Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri, and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrujakpo, are expected to open their defence next week before the state governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the governorship election, Timipre Sylva, are challenging the re-election of the governor and his deputy.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Diri the winner of the election after polling 175, 196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sylva of the APC who scored 110,108 votes.

Dissatisfied, Sylva and APC approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Diri as the winner of the November 11, 2023 governorship election.


Sylva and the APC are contending that elections were held in some polling units in three local governments of Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, and Nembe where INEC and the other respondents claimed there was no election.

The petitioners claimed that if the results from these local governments were added to their votes, they won the election.

They urged the tribunal to hold that election held in the said polling units across three local governments and declared them the winner.

At the opening of the hearing on the petition on February 14, 2024, INEC presented evidence to the tribunal to substantiate its claim that voting did not take place due to the alleged diversion of materials and disruption of the electoral process over the alleged bypass of the BVAS machine.

However, the petitioners on Thursday, after calling four witnesses sought for an adjournment to enable them to call more witnesses to prove their case.

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Since the request for adjournment was not opposed by the respondents, the Chairman of the three-member panel of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Adekunle Adeleye, announced Monday and Tuesday next week for the continuation of the trial.

The petitioners are expected to close their case next week, after which the governor, his deputy, and the PDP will open theirs.

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Edo PDP primary: Tight security as accreditation begins



Security has been beefed up at the venue of the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship primary election, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.

On Thursday morning, motorists were not allowed into the stadium road as men of the Edo State Traffic Management Authority scrutinised every vehicle intending to use the road to gain entrance into the stadium.

Policemen were stationed along the road while many others were at the entrance of the stadium ensuring that only those who have business there were allowed in.

On Wednesday, the police, through its spokesman, Chidi Nwabuzor, said the crises which occurred at the All Progressives Congress primary election on Saturday was an eye-opener and the police authority will no longer treat such election as just a party affair.


He said, “You could remember that we had just a little hitch of a particular party delegate election. That has been an eye-opener to Edo State Police Command that we should no longer see it as a party affair.

“The delegates are people with diverse interests, people with diverse behaviours, people with different attitudes and characters. So, this time around, we are going to ensure that the right thing is done and protect the lives and property of these party members.

“The Nigerian Police, Edo State Command is ready to ensure that there is a peaceful, hitch-free delegate election cutting across political parties in the state.

“The Commissioner of Police has adequately deployed officers and men for the exercise and we believe that with the number of officers, the calibre of officers he has deployed for this exercise, we are not hoping to see any form of violence or civil disobedience.

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“The vigilante will not be part of the election process, be it a state election or general election. They are a state-owned security outfit, so we cannot take the risk of having them around in this kind of important assignment.”


Ten aspirants vying for the PDP governorship ticket in the state will test their popularity at the primaries today as 563 delegates nominate the party candidate for the September 21 governorship election.

The candidates include Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, former chairman of Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo, Former Edo State All Progressives Congress chairman, Anslem Ojezua, former House of Representatives member, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Felix Akhabue, Amb. Martin Uhomoibhi, Hafia Hadizat Umoru,. Omosede Igbinedion, Earl Osaro Onaiwu and Arthur Esene, will be hoping to clinch the ticket despite protests from nine of the aspirants who felt that the delegate election was skewed in favour of Ighodalo.

The election will be carried out according to guidelines released by the party on Wednesday.

As of the time of filling this report, accreditation was ongoing at Edo Hotel Marquee at the Government Reservation Area, Benin.

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I won APC primary with over 6,000 votes –Okpebholo



Factional candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Monday Okpebholo, has revealed that he defeated his closest rival, Dennis Idahosa with over 6,000 votes.

He said though thugs disrupted the collation, the final tally showed that he won convincingly with a commanding majority.

He urged his supporters to remain calm, rest assured that justice would be served at the end of the day. The Edo Central lawmaker in the Senate, said as a candidate of the party, he was certain of returning the state to the APC.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to thank and appreciate all the APC members in Edo State for nominating me as the party’s candidate for the governorship election in September 2024. I am immensely humbled by the trust and confidence reposed in me.


“You will recall that the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party, nominated highly reputable officials to officiate in the primary election scheduled for February 17, 2024, with Dr. Stanley Ugboaja, as the state Returning Officer.

“After the primary election, which was adjudged to be very peaceful, the collation of results commenced at the designated centre by the collation officials in the presence of the INEC officials, the press, the law enforcement agencies and other party stalwarts.

“Surprisingly, while the collation of results was ongoing, and upon the declaration of eight local government, some irate thugs allegedly commissioned by my closest rival, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, who had only won two local Governments as against my six, stormed the venue of the state collation centre and disrupted the process by beating up the collation officials, party representatives, the press crew and others.

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“To my amazement and that of well-meaning members of our great party in Edo State, the information currently reaching me from Benin City, Edo State, has it that the same thugs led by Tony Kabaka, that disrupted the collation of result as earlier stated, also invaded the state secretariat of the party early this morning, destroyed and looted valuables in the offices in the guise of purportedly looking for the result of the primary election, which was never conducted by the state executives of the party….

“It is now on record that the total votes I scored was 12,145 as against my closest rival, Hon. Dennis Idahosa who scored only 5,536. As a result, I enjoin you not to be deterred by rumours from other quarters as I am very optimistic that justice will prevail at the end. I am convinced that the National Working Committee of our great party, under the leadership of Abdullahi Umar Ganduje will ensure that truth prevails over falsehood. I remain loyal to my party and to Mr. President, a universally acknowledged democrat, and a man of goodwill, who is prepared to change the fortunes of our dear nation.”


“I am also convinced beyond doubt that our great party, the APC, is well positioned to reclaim Edo State, and set her on the part of sustainable and holistic development, in line with Mr. President’s transformation agenda.

“Let me use this medium to plead with all those affected by the unprovoked attack to sheathe their swords as two wrongs can not make a right. This is an in-house squabbles and should be treated as such.”

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