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Concerns As Waste Threatens to Overrun Awka, the Anambra State Capital



With only about two months to change of government, there are clear signs that seem to suggest that the current government has perhaps been disserted. An elegant proof of this is the attitude of government officials towards their duty. Understandably, transition comes with its own demands and pressures which tend to affect work and work pace. But even that must not subject the people and the society to incredible stress and confusion that smacks of absence of government.

Awka, Nnewi, and especially Onitsha have had long-standing challenges with waste management. In fact, Onitsha at some point was so filthy that the city easily qualifies as the waste capital of Anambra State, if not the Southeast. With so many big markets, that feature thousands of sellers and buyers daily except on Sundays, in addition to at least over a million residents, waste generated in Onitsha is only better imagined. Close to Onitsha is Nnewi which also has some very popular and big markets, with a lot of imported products, some industries among others, plus waste generated by residents who are in their numbers. This also makes Nnewi only second to Onitsha in waste generation. Awka comes third and most of the wastes generated in Awka are from residents of the city who have now more than doubled from only a few years ago, and with that is the challenge of waste management in the capital city.

For the past few weeks, different waste dumps across Awka metropolis have been filled to the brim and overflowing to nearby roads. In many instances, the wastes have nearly blocked off roads completely. While in some cases, waste covers a better part of the roads such that commuters moving in both directions can only take turns to use the small portion left uncovered by waste. Every nook and cranny of Awka is dotted by piles of waste and this only is a reflection of the type of government we have in place. Otherwise, why must city administration, environmental management be abandoned because a new government is coming in?

It is unfortunate that governance suffers in our clime because we have not been able to systematize our government so that it does not revolve around people who are occupying government offices, per time. Under that prevailing circumstance, there can hardly be any sustainable progress because each time, the system depends on the political allegiance or emotions, biases, and other considerations personal to the occupant of a public office, to be able to function and deliver or hinder results.

The tragedy, however, is that the people seem to be comfortable with the situation to the point of giving excuses for this failure, hopeless and yet expecting the worst. For instance, a businesswoman whose shop is at the point of being covered by waste overflowing from the dumpsite at Udoka Estate in Awka said that the situation is expected considering that the current government is leaving. ‘We will soon have a new government. this one now is tired and cannot do much again, look at my shop, it is as if I am selling this waste’, she said. People are angry, yet moving on and adjusting as if nothing is happening.

As of the time of this write-up, feedback could not be secured from the Ministry of Environment or the Anambra State Waste Management Agency – ASWAMA. However, the former Chairman of ASWAMA regretted that what is happening now was exactly what led to his resignation in February 2021. While resigning, ‘I noted with sadness non-funding of waste management by the government. I used my personal money and at other times, borrowed money from friends and family, to do government work…I hope that the incoming government of Prof. Soludo will take waste management very seriously’, Philip Chinwuba said. Regretting that the approach the government took did not solve the problem, Chinwuba noted that engaging private contractors as waste managers as it is obtained now may be a smart way of shifting blames but does not solve the problem of waste management.

This therefore only perhaps suggests that there is no solution in view pending when the new government takes over from Governor Obiano on March 17, 2022, by which time the whole of Awka and indeed Onitsha and Nnewi might have been swallowed up by filth and dirt and trash and refuse. This can only get even more perplexing as the rainy season draws closer. As of now, waste have already blocked some drainage and water channels, which will increase the chances of flooding in the coming months. The question remains, for how long will governance and public good be sacrificed on the altar of politics and in this particular instance, political transition?


PeacePro call on FG to prosecute all those involved in $11b P&ID fraud conspiracy



Says every penny spent on ligation must be recovered from economic saboteurs

A peacebuilding think tank, Foundation for Peace Professionals also known as PeacePro has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to prosecute all those involved in the conspiracy to defraud Nigeria by Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited.

PeacePro said that, the attempt to defraud Nigeria by P&ID to the tune of $11billion is not an isolated case, as several of such cases exists, some of which maybe ongoing and others concluded, noting that those involved in the scam are a cartel that must be exposed and severely punished.

In a statement by the Executive Director of PeacePro, Amb Abdulrazaq Hamzat over the weekend, PeacePro said that Commercial Courts of England and Wales saved Nigeria from what could literally be described as catastrophe of the greatest order and we must do everything possible to ensure the country is never put at the mercy of foreign government to address crisis of such magnitude.

According to Hamzat, after a long, tortuous legal battle, Nigeria narrowly escape from a hefty penalty of over $11billion over a fraudulent failed 2010 deal to develop a gas processing plant in the country.

Justice Robin Knowles of the Commercial Courts of England and Wales halted enforcement of a $11 billion Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Limited arbitration award against Nigeria, which has been described as scam.

According to the judge, the company’s award against Nigeria was obtained by fraud.

Hamzat explained that, Nigeria may have succeeded in upturning the fine, which is about 30% of our national budget, but that is after spending over $40 million in litigation fees and the federal government must treat all those involved as economic saboteurs.

Hamzat maintained that, those involved are scattered amongst the senior civil and public servants, with support of some private players and President Tinubu and the national assembly must address the situation like a national emergency.

He concluded that all business deals involving govt, either concluded or currently disputed should be reviewed to identify pattern of fraud and the respective players.

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Presidential Election: Nigeria’s Supreme Court dismisses opposition challenges



Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s Supreme Court refused Thursday to void the recent election of President Bola Tinubu and dismissed the political opposition’s challenges, which argued that the vote was flawed and that Tinubu was not qualified to seek or hold the presidency.

The court held in a majority ruling that the grounds of the challenges were “devoid of merits,” ending a dispute that had put Africa’s most populous country on the edge after the February election. An appeals court in Nigeria also rejected the petitions last month.

Two other candidates in the election separately challenged Tinubu’s win, alleging that he failed to meet the minimum educational qualification to run, did not secure the required number of votes and that the country’s election commission did not follow its own provisions in collating and announcing the election results.

During a televised hearing in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenges from the Peoples Democratic Party’s Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party’s Peter Obi in their entirety, affirming the position of the election tribunal that Tinubu’s victory followed the due process.

“It is my view that there is no merit in this appeal,” Justice Inyang Okoro, who read the ruling of the seven-member court panel, said of Abubakar’s petition. A similar ruling was subsequently issued in Obi’s case.

The court also refused to admit new evidence that Abubakar’s lawyers said proved their allegations that Tinubu tendered forged academic credentials from an American university.

The court said the issue of the alleged forgery was not reflected as one of the grounds of the original petition within the time frame provided by the Nigerian Constitution.

“Facts and documents which were not pleaded in the petition have no place in deciding the dispute between the parties,” Okoro said.

The Peoples Democratic Party, Nigeria’s main opposition party, said it was “alarmed, disappointed and gravely concerned” by the court’s finding, arguing it was inconsistent with Nigerian law.

Tinubu, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, lauded the ruling. “The court has done justice to all issues put up for consideration in the petitions on the merits of the law, without fear or favor,” the president said.

While millions of Nigerians followed the question of the president’s academic credentials as the major highlight of the case before the Supreme Court, Thursday’s ruling did not come as a surprise to many because no presidential election in Nigeria has ever been annulled by a court.

Some have said the conditions stipulated in Nigeria’s laws make it difficult to prove irregularities, and some questioned the independence of the judiciary.

Tinubu’s election was largely described by observers as an improvement from the 2019 election. But the observers also said the delays in uploading and announcing the election results could have left room for ballot tampering.

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Nigerian: Highest Court affirms President Tinubu’s election win



ABUJA, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld President Bola Tinubu’s election win, bringing to an end a legal challenge brought by his two main rivals, who argued that his victory was marred by irregularities.

The ruling will give 71-year-old Tinubu a clear mandate to govern Africa’s most populous nation, which is grappling with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages, a weakening naira, widespread insecurity and crude oil theft.

The biggest opposition, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said it was “alarmed and disappointed” by the ruling, but Tinubu welcomed the judgment.

“We are all members of one household, and this moment demands that we continue to work and build our country together,” Tinubu said in a statement.

Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 after three decades of almost uninterrupted military rule, but accusations of ballot-rigging and fraud have followed its electoral cycles.

The judgment by seven Supreme Court judges, which is final, follows a pattern seen in previous presidential elections that have been challenged in court. None of the attempts to overturn results through the courts has been successful.

“This judgment by the Supreme Court has evidently shaken the confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court as the last hope of the common man,” the PDP said.

Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party came second and third respectively in the February vote, but rejected the result and called for Tinubu’s win to be annulled.

The two opposition leaders had appealed a Sept. 6 tribunal judgment that endorsed Tinubu’s victory.

In the appeal, they argued that the electoral commission failed to electronically transmit results from polling stations to an online portal, which undermined their authenticity.

They also said Tinubu had won less than 25% of the vote in the federal capital Abuja so he did not meet the legal threshold to become president.

The judges dismissed all their arguments.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh in Abuja and MacDonald Dzirutwe in Lagos, additional reporting by Felix Onuah in Abuja; Editing by Estelle Shirbon, Sharon Singleton and Christina Fincher

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