APC, PDP bicker over Metele killing, campaign funds

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*PDP, Atiku dancing on the graves of soldiers – APC

*APC can’t justify neglect of troops, diversion of military funds – PDP

* Demands NASS inquest into killings and handling of anti-insurgency funds

By Uyi Precious

Another round of verbal war broke out yesterday between the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over the Metele killing of scores of soldiers and alleged diversion of military funds for political campaigns.

PDP had on Monday alleged that the welfare of soldiers was neglected by the APC administration as the funds needed to equip them were diverted to fund the APC campaign for 2019 general elections.

Reacting to the PDP allegation, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the allegation is “a sad reminder of the evil and retrogressive practices the PDP was notorious for during its defunct rule.”

“God forbid that the APC inherits and apply such morbid practice as brazenly displayed during the immediate-past PDP administration where funds allocated to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast were shared among PDP leaders and their cronies.

“It is clear that the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar have decided to dance on the graves of our valiant and patriotic soldiers by politicising their deaths in the recent Boko Haram attack on the Nigerian Army Metele base”, the APC spokesman stated.

The pokesman added that the PDP and Atiku are playing desperate politics where even the blood of our fallen heroes is fair game.

“Their actions are callous and insensitive to the families and dependants of the late soldiers and indeed our military which battles daily to ensure our territorial integrity.

“Nigerians see through PDP’s ploy to score political points as elections approach and it will surely backfire,” he added.

In its reaction, the PDP berated the APC and described the effort by the ruling party to justify President Buhari’s “neglect of our fighting troops, leading to the killing of over 100 soldiers by insurgents, as abhorrent, reprehensible and a slap on the sensibility of Nigerians.”

The PDP said through Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesperson, that the APC, as a party, has fully demonstrated that it is a dysfunctional organisation which attaches no value to the lives of our soldiers or other Nigerians, but more interested in seeing funeral ceremonies and gloating over the graves of its victims.

The opposition party queried why the APC would attempt to wave off revelations, which are already in the public domain, that officials of the Buhari Presidency are diverting funds meant for military equipment and welfare of our soldiers to finance Mr. President’s re-election campaign.

“If the APC were not jittery over revelations that it is a core beneficiary of this evil racket, why is it rushing to defend the Minister of Defence on findings that he diverted military funds to produce campaign materials for the APC including an electronic momento, with APC logo boldly inscribed on them?

“The APC, in its hallucination, forgot that Nigerians already know that the neglect of the Buhari Presidency led to the killing of our soldiers and that the President and the APC had remained unconcerned and only started shedding crocodile tears after a public outcry on the killing and their ominous silence”, he stated.

PDP challenged the APC to explain to Nigerians why it took President Buhari, as Commander-in-Chief, a whole week to express ‘shock’ over the killing of over 100 soldiers.

“Does that not portray our President as a commander who has abandoned his troops and cares less of happenings in the front?

“What has the APC to say to the fact that the Buhari Presidency failed to act on the threats by insurgents to attack the military base days before the deadly invasion and killing of our soldiers?

“What has APC to say to the fact that at the time our soldiers were being attacked by insurgents, our Service Chiefs were busy participating in President Buhari’s re-election campaign rally and launch of Next Level mantra, stolen from a foreign institute?

“What has the APC to say to the fact that instead of being at the forefront of investigations, our Minister of Defence was busy using military funds to produce campaign souvenirs for President Buhari and the APC?”

“It is therefore an unpardonable assault on the sensibility of Nigerians for the APC to; in anyway, attempt to justify President Buhari’s negligence and inaction toward the welfare of our soldiers as well as the diversion of military fund for Mr. President’s re-election campaign at the expense of the lives of Nigerians.

“If the APC is not complicit in this heinous crime against our nation, we challenge it to join the PDP in demanding for a National Assembly inquest into the killing and the handling of anti-insurgency funds under President Buhari, instead of this resort to wicked hypocritical posturing”, he added.

‘Twenty-three percent of Nigerian households defecate openly’

By Umar Mohd, Bauchi

About 23.5% households in Nigeria lack befitting toilets and practice open defecation which contributes to disease morbidity and mortality.

This was disclosed by an Environmental health expert at the college of health science, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife Dr Aluko Olufemi yesterday during a stake holders meeting organized by WaterAid to review Bauchi state government’s policy on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, held at Destination Hotel Bauchi.

According to him, every eight seconds a child dies as a result of a condition related to unsafe water, unclean domestic environments and improper ‘excreta’ disposal globally.

He noted that the standards set by Nigerian National Water Supply and Sanitation policy of 2000 stipulated that safe water should be located within a distance of 100 meters from the household residence lamenting that there is no proper inspection of water sources fetched by Nigerians or water vendors by governments at all levels to ensure that citizens consume potable water.

“Sanitation is a basic human right and important foundation for health, economic and sustainable development and a key building block in environmental protection. The minimum quantity of water required daily is 30 to 120 litres per person”. He pointed out.

Earlier, speaking the WaterAid WASH technical expert Mr Adebayo Alawo explained that the NGO is providing technical support to the Bauchi State government so that it could meet the global target of making WASH services available to every resident by the year 2030.

He revealed that the meeting which had participants from private boreholes drillers, environmental solid waste collectors and water vendors was aimed at reviewing the state policy on water, sanitation and hygiene with a view to aligning with current realities and global challenges for national development.

Minister calls for synergy for sustainable water for Nigerians

By Joyce Remi- Babayeju

Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu has called for synergy between the Federal Government, State governments and the Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners and practitioners, AWDROP, for a sustainable development in the water sector.

Adamu made this call at the 2nd National Borehole Master Drillers Conference in Abuja on Monday. He noted that provision of adequate water for the people is key.

The minister decried the spate of quackery in the industry, stating that it poses a huge problem to the society and urged for databanks to be set up to monitor activities, and urged that the Water Resources Bill should be visited and passed into law to regulate the water sector.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, promised that his Ministry will strengthen its partnership with relevant stakeholders to drill more wells for grazing reserves because 2% of production in Agric is done by irrigation.

Ogbeh further urged Association of Drillers in Nigeria to regulate its activities and improve their capacity.

President of the Association of Water well Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners, AWDROP, Mr. Michael Oludare, expressed the need for the association to partner with the Federal Government to bring about professionalism in the industry, adding that there is need for the Association to be regulated and all Drilling companies licensed.

The theme for the 2nd National Borehole Master Drillers conference 2018 is, Borehole Drilling: its social Economics and environmental effects in our fragile environment.

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