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

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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.

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“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.

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“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’’.

Also read;Former senior provincial official arrested for taking bribes

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.

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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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No stratification of Northern Christians or Muslims in APC – Keyamo

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The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity Festus Keyamo has said the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) does not have an official stratification of Northern Christians or Muslims in the party.
Keyamo stated this while reacting to trending media reports that Northern Christian members within the party had rejected the party’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket for the 2023 election.

He said: “I am not aware that the Northern Christians within the APC family met anywhere to appoint spokespersons on their behalf.”
Keyamo noted that no member of the party is authorised to speak on behalf of every adherent of a particular faith within a party.
“They will vote according to their individual conscience. Nobody has the authority to speak on behalf of every adherent of a particular faith within a party.

“Also and with the greatest respect, I am not aware that we have an official stratification of APC Northern Christians or Muslims in our great party.
“They are all APC members, simpliciter, and they registered as such into the party, not on the platforms of their different faiths,” Keyamo said.

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Babachir, Dogara Convene APC Northern Christian Leaders’ Meeting, Resolve to Vote against Tinubu, Shettima

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*Babachir: The PVC and our prayers will be our weapons, we will massively deploy them in 2023

*Dogara: Tinubu, party made fatal error of judgment on Muslim-Muslim ticket

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and the former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, led a meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Northern Christian Leaders in Abuja yesterday, where it was resolved that Christians should vote against the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling party in the 2023 presidential election.

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Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the party picked Senator Kashim Shettima, the former governor of Borno State, who’s also a Muslim, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election, a development that continues to elicit outrage from APC’s Christians stakeholders.
Speaking at the forum tagged, “APC Northern Christians Political Summit, Abuja 2022”, with the theme, “Righteousness Exalts a Nation, But Sin is a Reproach to Any People”, Babachir alleged that there was an agenda to politically, religiously and economically suppress and oppress Northern Christians, but assured that such agenda would be resisted.
He said Northern Christians were ready to battle the politics of exclusion and oppression, but open to discussions with anyone who wants to engage with them in good faith.

Babachir stressed that northern Christians’ opposition to Muslim-Muslim ticket had some historical basis, adding that there were times in the past when Christians produced the Deputy Governors in Kebbi, Niger and Kaduna States, “and now it is wholly Muslim-Muslim tickets in most places.”
The former SGF said it was worth noting that all these were happening in the APC-controlled states, stressing that they were threatening to do likewise in Gombe, Kogi and Adamawa states.

Lawal said the proof of its anti-Christian agenda was that APC had completely eliminated Northern Christians from its National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Executive Council (NEC), noting that all their protestations as party members have been completely ignored by the leadership.
He emphasised that as members of APC, they have the right to continue to express their indignation at these happenings and would not give up until they secure the justice that is due them.

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Lawal states: “The main purpose of this historical narrative is to let you know that for the APC, a Muslim-Muslim ticket has been a long-term political strategy and not a one-off decision. Thus, all this talk of competence as the reason for the choice of the Muslim VP is balderdash and diversionary. This is a calculated anti-Christian exclusion agenda that is being implemented.

“One might ask: why is the APC itself mute about our rejection of this Muslim-Muslim ticket? And why has none of the other perpetrators of this crisis reached out to Christians for a dialogue? Why are they instead hiring fake Bishops and taking church groups to further embarrass the Church? Why are they embarking on a vicious media war against CAN and the Church instead of seeking reconciliation? Truly, things are not adding up.
“So why are Christians, Northern Nigerian Christians in particular against the Muslim-Muslim ticket? I will try to enumerate just a few more reasons in addition to the ones I have already enumerated above.”

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Babachir stated categorically that they see the Muslim-Muslim ticket as an assent to the current and continuing educational, economic and political marginalisation of Northern Christians.
He noted that Christians all over the country see the Muslim-Muslim ticket as a deliberate and premeditated attempt to introduce and firmly entrench religion into the politics of this country.

“One might ask: why is the APC itself mute about our rejection of this Muslim-Muslim ticket? And why has none of the other perpetrators of this crisis reached out to Christians for a dialogue? Why are they instead hiring fake Bishops and taking church groups to further embarrass the Church? Why are they embarking on a vicious media war against CAN and the Church instead of seeking reconciliation? Truly, things are not adding up.
“So why are Christians, Northern Nigerian Christians in particular against the Muslim-Muslim ticket? I will try to enumerate just a few more reasons in addition to the ones I have already enumerated above.”

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Babachir stated categorically that they see the Muslim-Muslim ticket as an assent to the current and continuing educational, economic and political marginalisation of Northern Christians.
He noted that Christians all over the country see the Muslim-Muslim ticket as a deliberate and premeditated attempt to introduce and firmly entrench religion into the politics of this country.

“For how do they expect Christians to keep silent when a Northern state governor publicly states that they pressured Tinubu to get a Northern Muslim VP because they did not believe him to be a good Muslim? Is the VP going to be the National Deputy Imam?
“How do they expect us to keep silent when another Northern state governor goes to Osun State and urges them to vote for someone just because he is a Muslim? Was he there for the election campaign or ‘dawah’? What can be a better example of religion in politics than demonstrated by these governors?
“Clearly, there is an agenda to politically, religiously, and economically suppress and oppress the Northern Christian. But we are up to the task. We will protect ourselves. The PVC and our prayers will be our weapons of choice and we will massively deploy them in 2023.”

On his part, Dogara said the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket by APC was capable of leading Nigeria to disintegration like Yugoslavia.
He said the opposition of Northern Christians to all Muslim ticket should not be understood to be objecting to Muslims or that they don’t want Tinubu to be president, “neither is it about Senator Kashim Shettima. It is about what is right and what is wrong, it is about justice, fairness and equity.”

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Dogara continued: “It is about Nigeria; its diversity and how it can be harnessed in an inclusive manner for the greater good of all of us. Be that as it may, some of us really wanted Asiwaju to be president because he has sacrificed much for our party, the APC and for what he represents to so many people. So, our position cannot be against Muslims or Islam. That fact cannot be denied in any way.”

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“For how do they expect Christians to keep silent when a Northern state governor publicly states that they pressured Tinubu to get a Northern Muslim VP because they did not believe him to be a good Muslim? Is the VP going to be the National Deputy Imam?
“How do they expect us to keep silent when another Northern state governor goes to Osun State and urges them to vote for someone just because he is a Muslim? Was he there for the election campaign or ‘dawah’? What can be a better example of religion in politics than demonstrated by these governors?
“Clearly, there is an agenda to politically, religiously, and economically suppress and oppress the Northern Christian. But we are up to the task. We will protect ourselves. The PVC and our prayers will be our weapons of choice and we will massively deploy them in 2023.”

On his part, Dogara said the adoption of a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket by APC was capable of leading Nigeria to disintegration like Yugoslavia.
He said the opposition of Northern Christians to all Muslim ticket should not be understood to be objecting to Muslims or that they don’t want Tinubu to be president, “neither is it about Senator Kashim Shettima. It is about what is right and what is wrong, it is about justice, fairness and equity.”

Dogara continued: “It is about Nigeria; its diversity and how it can be harnessed in an inclusive manner for the greater good of all of us. Be that as it may, some of us really wanted Asiwaju to be president because he has sacrificed much for our party, the APC and for what he represents to so many people. So, our position cannot be against Muslims or Islam. That fact cannot be denied in any way.”

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PDP UK names Segun Sky Akinyemi as caretaker chairman

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Consequent to the end of tenure of the outgoing executives, the People’s Democratic Party United Kingdom South West caucus has appointed a new caretaker chairman in the person of Hon. Segun Akinyemi, a.k.a SKY.

Akinyemi, who hails from Modakeke in Ife East Local Government Area of Osun State, is a founding member of the South West caucus in the UK and has contributed immensely to the growth of PDP both in the UK and his community in Nigeria.

A very loyal party man, according to a release made available to the media, Sky worked assiduously with previous chairmen like Late Mobolaji Walker and Otunba Yomi Fakorede and also played major roles in terms of fund raising in support of PDP candidates in Nigeria.

He will be taking over the mantle of leadership from Hon Babatunde Akinbami, the incumbent chairman and has promised to re-unite all aggrieved members while repositioning the party pending the time new elections would be conducted.

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Segun Sky, as he is fondly addressed by friends and associates, attended Buckinghamshire New University UK where he studied Advertising and Promotions management.

An astute businessman and entertainment mogul, he also practises in the UK as an independent publicist where he presides over a public relations outfit, DE-SKY Multimedia.

Correspondents were informed that his new appointment takes immediate effect while an inauguration date would be announced soon.

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