APGA senatorial candidate decries open Defecation, power outage in Afikpo North LGA


The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)Senatorial candidate for Ebonyi South Zone, Sir Ifeanyi Eleje, has decried the perennial power outage and open defecation in Afikpo area, in the Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state, assuring that with the right political will, the ugly trend could be addressed.

According to Eleje, the continued absence of electricity in the area was not a consequence of wickedness on the part of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, but because the Government had not played the needed role in restoring power in the area.

He stated this during a meeting with journalists, in Abakaliki, on Monday, adding, “I must tell you that when they say politics is the art of the possible, it’s just the truth. And it means that everything is possible in politics. I have heard people say because this is now a private enterprise, it’s difficult. But, with the right political will and engagement, we can bring back electricity to Afikpo North, because the people have suffered so much.”

He further noted that open defecation was outlawed globally, wondering why it was still in vogue in the area.

“Of course, you know that power generation and distribution has gone over to private hands. They are no longer under government. But then that’s just one part of the story.

“This is because somebody invested and wants to have return on his investment. And when you project the cost of having power in Afikpo North, you will realise that any private investor may be wary because it will take him a long time to get the return on that investment.

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“It may look overwhelming. But the truth is, that when there is political engagement and political will, the profit motivation of private investments will be overridden. The government, knowing that they have a social responsibility to the community, needs to intervene and make the initial commitment that is required to bring power to this community.

“I will work with everybody in the Senate if am elected to get that political arrangement in place. Politics is consultation, consensus and compromise. You consult with your colleagues because there is no community that doesn’t need something. When you consult, you trade off some important positions and then you maintain the positions that are more essential to your people. That’s compromise. And once you reach a compromise, you have a consensus and then, you implement.

“That’s why when I said politics is the art of the possible. When you do the proper consultation, you seal off some things (because you must seal off some things) to get the things you really need and then you reach a consensus. You must talk to your colleagues and trade off the things that you can negotiate later and you get the things you want immediately. I am going to make sure that I’m able to bring power back again to Afikpo North because the area has suffered for a long time.”

He added, “I know that open defecation is already outlawed internationally. So, what do we need to address open defecation? Nobody in the real sense of it likes open defecation. This is because it’s a practice that’s sustained by lack of government attention.

“If you make it a focal point, it could be addressed by first, providing public toilets; it doesn’t even matter if you start with pit toilets, because water is an issue in the area. We will get to that later.

“But you can start with public toilets. It’s dehumanising to have open defecation in this 21st Century. Remember you are talking about men and women.

“So the first intervention that I will seek when I get to the Senate, will be to arrest open defecation not just in Afikpo area, but the entire Ebonyi South Zone.”

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