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Mulling Governor Obaseki’s stance on sustainability and its benefits: Edo streetlighting initiative in perspective



By Ik Osamede

When Governor Godwin Obaseki’s brainchild, the Ossiomo Power Plant, which currently powers the streetlights in the Benin metropolis, came on stream, I read a comment from a social media user who wondered why the streetlights in previous administration didn’t last the test of time, noting further that the lights, at the time, were considerably dimmer than the ones being deployed by Governor Godwin Obaseki. I responded that Governor Obaseki’s concept of streetlighting was driven by sustainability, not the fanfare of such lights being on.

I told him that the lights in the previous administration were on for few hours per night while costing the Edo State tax payers many millions of naira in the purchase of diesel for just a night. I told him that that concept was wasteful and profligate as it was tantamount to spending a billion naira in whitewashing a chalet built with a few pennies.

That conversation brought to the front burner, once again, the great gains Edo is making in the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration.

For Governor Godwin Obaseki, sustainability is key and wastefulness is forbidden. The want of sustainability and the surplus of avenues for wastage is the major reason the country is comatose economically. If we had governments like that of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the country, the story would have been different.

Today, the CCETC-Ossiomo Power Plant, which is an independent 55MW power plant that provides 24 hour power supply, serves as an alternative to Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC). It utilizes the enormous gas deposits that some parts of Edo sits on and is responsible for powering all streetlights in Airport road, Sapele road, Kings Square, Sakponba road, and Oba market road. Feelers reveal that inroads are presently being made in the Uselu axis and other parts of the City. True to my friend’s testimony in the opening of this penned ruminations of mine, the lights deployed by Governor Godwin Obaseki is ten times brighter and the poles in which this fixtures are affixed are considerably sturdier and more durable.

Not just streetlights, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s sustainability drive is seen in the fact that same Ossiomo Power Plant is powering two communities (Ologbo and Obanyanto), the rebuilt Edo State Secretariat Complex, Edo State Government House, Nigeria Observer, Edo Creative Hub, NUJ complex, the rebuilt Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, and many other Government buildings.

If the daily purchase of diesel to power the streetlights was continued till date, given the realities in the oil and gas sector, the total cost of keeping them running would have been astronomical. Hence, one is left to wonder how the Governor comes up with such impeccable foresight in first establishing a sustainable power source (Ossiomo Power Plant) for the streetlights before putting them on. This power source, apart from being environmentally friendly considering that it’s a clean energy source, replaces the need to run diesel engines as well as makes room for the other people-oriented benefits Edo people are currently enjoying. Workers, especially, will testify in this month’s end considering the recent increase in their minimum wage to N40,000.

A social media conversation sparked this testimonial and led to my recollection of the grand economic wastage seen in previous administrations. I just thought to quickly pen some thoughts down.

In all, thank you Governor Godwin Obaseki for your drive for sustainability. This, too, will be your legacy.

Ikponmwosa Osamede (Ik Osamede), a multiple national award winning writer, writes from Benin
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PDP Crisis: Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Others Get Soft Landing



…..Party Rescinds Sanctions

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rescinded sanctions slammed on former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and ex-Senate President, Pius Anyim, over alleged anti-party activities.

Benue Governor Samuel Ortom, Ibrahim Shema of Kastina state and other party Chieftains also sanctioned got soft landings after a crucial meeting of the national working committee of the party yesterday in Abuja

Recall that the party top shots were suspended by the embattled Iyorchia Ayu leadership over alleged anti party activities

But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, yesterday Thursday, March 30, the party announced that its National Working Committee,NWC, has reversed the suspension of the party’s chieftains.

Ologunagba noted that the PDP NWC also reversed Governor Ortom’s referral to the party’s disciplinary committee.

He said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting today, Thursday, March 30, 2023, extensively discussed recent developments in the party.

“The NWC recognised the imperativeness of a total reconciliation among party leaders and critical stakeholders for a more cohesive Party in the overall interest of our teeming members and Nigerians in general.

“Consequent upon the above, the NWC reverses the referral of the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee.

“The NWC in the same vein reverses the suspension of the following members of our great party: H.E Ibrahim Shema (Katsina State); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State); Sen. Pius Anyim (Ebonyi State); Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State); Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).

“This decision is without prejudice to the powers of the NWC to take necessary disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017).

“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to be guided by the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) as well as the new spirit and necessity of reconciliation, unity, and harmony in our party at this critical time.

“The PDP must remain focused as we continue to take every necessary action to recover the stolen mandate freely given by Nigerians to our party and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the PDP spokesperson stated.

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DSS ING Alarm:Legal Means Can Be Deployed To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration- HURIWA



Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday said there was nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop the inauguration of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023 because the February 25, 2023 election that produced him is still being actively challenged in court by leading candidates in the poll.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the so-called alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday that some politicians are plotting an interim government should not be used as an obstacle to stop the petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) challenging Tinubu’s Victory

The DSS warning followed a petition by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo that the DSS should invite Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their rejection of Tinubu as the President-Elect.

Similarly, Atiku had earlier in March led a protest to the Abuja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject the result of the February 25 poll declared by the electoral umpire.

Both Atiku and Obi alleged electoral malpractices in the poll and are in court to challenge the declaration of Tinubu as President-Elect by INEC.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Department of State Services should not rope in powerful opposition forces such as Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar with a view to finding some frivolous charges to hang on their necks to frustrate their formidable petitions against the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll.

“The DSS must work for all of Nigeria and not work as errand boys of Tinubu and his allies who only recently made claims that some persons want to stop his swearing in. By the way, there is nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop his inauguration because the election is being actively challenged. Nothing should be used as obstacles to obstruct Obi and Atiku’s petitions.

He advised that ,“The DSS should go after arm smugglers, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists and leave politicking for politicians.”

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Edo NUJ Felicitates Arase Over Appointment As Chairman PSC



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council has felicitated with Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector General of Police on his appointment as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In a statement signed by the union Chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, the union described the appointment as well deserved.

The union expressed optimism that Arase will bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment to his father land.

The union prayed God Almighty to grant him the knowledge and wisdom to reposition the Police Service Commission for better service delivery.

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