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ICDA caretaker committee kicks off, vows to right the wrongs, dissolves into sub committees.

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By Labaran Tijani, Lokoja.

The newly constituted caretaker committee of the Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA) has re-iterated its commitment to striving hard within the terms of reference to position the socio-cultural association on a sound footing that will steer Igala land to greatness.

This was part of the resolutions that emanated from the maiden meeting of the new caretaker committee which took place in Lokoja on Thursday.

To make good their resolution, the caretaker committee created 5 sub committees with each saddled with the responsibility of digging deep into the fundamental issues of Igala land’s development and proffering workable solutions to key areas that the defunct overzealous leaders of the association had been manipulating to feather their nest at the expense of the interests of Igala nation.

The caretaker committee took a swipe at the leadership style of the defunct ICDA executive and vowed to institute a template via constitutional review that would guarantee quality, experience, and integrity as _senequa non_ for the emergence of a leadership that will paddle the affairs of the association for the benefit of all.

The committee also noted that the way and manner the revered ancestral stool of Igala nation had been treated by some socio-cultural associations and in particular the defunct apex ICDA leadership was to say the least, despicable, contending that it was sacrilegious for an individual, association or group to ridicule the spiritual stool of Igala ancestors by disregarding the order that emanated from the custodian of the stool.

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The caretaker committee therefore condemned in totality the Sediq led executive council of ICDA for going ahead to hold their AGM and giving award to some selected Igala sons and daughters when Gabaidu had already dissolved the association, and ordered it to suspend the ignoble programme as scheduled.

While the caretaker committe described their outing of August 1 in Anyigba as a sacrilege and an affront to the ancestral authority, it stressed that such awards remains the prerogative of Ata Igala who is empowered to confer on merit and not on the arbitrary impulse of the leadership of the cultural association.

The committe contended that since Ata Igala, HRM Idakwo Micheal Ameh Oboni11 who is the custodian of culture and tradition of Igala people did not approve or ceede such power to ICDA executive to observe such function, the said award runs foul of ancestral law and to that extent is declared null and void and therefore of no effect.

In line with this and to put to an end to such excesses of some leaders of socio-cultural associations in Igala land that tend to embarrass the ancestral stool and the people, the committee resolved to review such award and ensure that any such award in future is given to those that merit the criteria in accordance with a template that will clearly define the boundaries of power between the cultural groups and the ancestral authority of Igala nation.

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The committee also noted with concern the deplorable security situation in Igala land where Fulani herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and other social miscreants are having a field day and resolved to key into the existing local security arrangement that relies on conventional force to stem the tide of security breaches that have brought untold sorrow and grief to many families in the land.

The sub committee and its members includes; Media & Publicity Committee:
Labaran Tijani (Chairman),Alfa Ebune, Ambrose A. Akpa.
Constitution Review Committee:
William Ameh,Esq(Chairman)Dr. Cletus Arome, Dr. Abdullahi Sekuru, Sir. M. M. Ocheni.
Finance committee:
Alh. Abdulazeez Idoko(Chairman), Sir. Tom Idakwo, DCN.Godwin Idakwo,Hon(Mrs) Agnes Adejo.
Reconciliation Committee:
Dr. Michael Attah (Chairman),Dr. Alex Kadiri, Chief Robert Audu, Alh. Sule Iyaji, Alh. Ohoma, General Patrick Akpa (Rtd), Dr.(Chief) Rekiya Ababaji, Mrs. Grace Akowe & Barrister. D.O. Ojotule (Secretary).
Programs/Projects Committee:
Dr. Yakubu Ugwolawo (Chairman) Mr. Jones Iduh, Sir. Tom Idakwo, Mrs. Agnes Momoh, Labaran Tijani & 6.Isah Abuh.
Security Committee:
Col. Suleman Babanawa ( Rtd)-Chairman, Col. Obeche (Rtd), Col. Sani Tahir(Rtd), Sir J. Y. Jibrin & Dr. Cletus Arome (Secretary ).

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Earlier, the caretaker Chairman, Chief Samuel Oyibo ,in his address said the ICDA is bleeding today because its leadership stood on the podium of the weak links of its constitution and compromised everything to their interest at the detriment of the image of Igala nation.

“In our land, once Gabaidu ruled on an issue of culture and tradition on our land ,it stands ruled; no objection . But now,the situation has changed due to poor leadership. The last few days in the dissolved Sediq led executive left sour in the mouth, as if the association is a mere social club by their posture.

“The time has come for ICDA institution to be resructured where issues affecting Igala nation will be addressed properly . So, we want to build an enduring solid institution through which issues of Igala nation will be discussed collectively and implemented to the goodness of all”, he said.

He therefore charged the members of the interim committee to be ups and doings in order to justify the trust reposed on them for this assignment, saying , “we are out to lay solid ground so that those aspiring to lead us should be people with high proven integrity or established pedigree”.

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Edo Elections: PDP Protests Siege on Governors By Security Agents

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September 18, 2020

Press Statement

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protests the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin City, Edo state capital, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.

The national leadership of the party, in a press conference addressed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, alerted the nation and the international community of the security siege on PDP governors in their lodging in Benin City.

The party expressed shock that security agents were detailed to surround the lodging of our governors to harass and intimidate them, whereas APC governors, including the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo state counterpart, Hope Uzodimma as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole in GRA, Benin City.

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Our party considers this siege as provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin City, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.

At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded.

The PDP calls on all stakeholders in the Edo governorship election, particularly the security agencies, to work towards a peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair election on Saturday.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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Flood Preparation: NEMA reactivates Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF) in Kogi State.

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Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday in Lokoja reactivated it’s Humanitarian Coordination Forum (HCF) in Kogi State as part of preparedness for the looming flood disaster in some part of the state.

Speaking at the event, NEMA Head of Abuja Operations Office , Mr Bitrus Samuel said that the reactivation of the forum was to ensure effective and efficient coordination of activities when the floods come.

He said that the forum would largely be responsible for the success of response to the disaster which he said will come with humanitarian crises.

Samuel explained that the forum made up of critical stakeholders in disaster management will develop strategies and set direction for the required response.

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Going by the the 2020 flood outlook and flood prediction, Samuel said that the flood will.have severe impacts on people, infrastructure, farming and fishing in Lokoja, Bassa, Ofu, Kogi, Ajaokuta, Dekina, Ofu, Idah, Ibaji, Igala-Mela.and Adavi local government areas of the state.

He urged the people in the council areas to brace up for a higher magnitude of flood similar to the 2012 experience, saying that the flood will come anytime from now.

The Officer cited the River Niger current flood level of 7.02 metres as a clear indication that the flood was on the way, saying that the country would be at the receiving end , being at the lower part of the river.

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According to Samuel, the forum should quickly put in place search and rescue and response measures so as not to be caught unaware.

He also charged members to identify high grounds for use as camps for people that will be displaced as a result of the flood.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who was at the forum’s meeting reports that it is made of representatives of the Red Cross, Navy, civil defence , media, marine police, fire service, Air Force, members of civil society and relevant ministries and departments.

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the state governor on emergency and environment, Imam Salih Adams described the reactivation of the forum as a timely intervention.

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He also described it as a relief to residents who he said are already griped with fear over the impending disaster.

Adams said that the state government under the leadership of Gov. Yahaya Bello placed too much premium on life and property and had in line with this put in place measures to mitigate the effects of the flood.

He promised that government will make available all necessary needs and cooperation to the forum but harped on the need for members not to betray the trust reposed in them and ensure efficient use of resources that will be put at their disposal.


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Flood sacks over 70 communities, displaces over 50,000 persons in Kogi

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Flood from the River Niger has submerged over 70 communities and over 50,000 people have been displaced from their houses in different parts of Kogi State.

Residents of some of the communities spoke in Lokoja on the sidelines of a stakeholders sensitisation/advocacy meeting on 2020 flood that the flood had wreaked havoc in the affected areas.

They said that the communities have been experiencing massive flooding for the past five days.

The one-day meeting was organised by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in partnership with the Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KOSEMA).

One of the residents, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is also the Desk Officer in charge of ecological and emergency matters in Kogi Local Government Council, said that 66 communities had been submerged by flood in the area.

Abdullahi said that over 50,000 people have been forced to evacuate their houses and are now being accommodated in schools, fueling stations and other makeshift buildings.

He said that some of the victims in Edeha and Koton Karfe communities have been sleeping on roads and other open places, co-habiting with mosquitoes and dangerous reptiles.

He said that schools have been closed as they have been converted to temporary camps for the victims, calling for urgent intervention from the State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

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The desk officer said that the victims have lost their means of livelihood to the flood, as their farms and livestock were also washed away by the rampaging floods.

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Similarly, the Chairman of the Flood Committee in Ibaji Local Government Area, Mr Omonu James, said that floods had sacked thousands of residents from their houses in the area.

James said that the problem of the victims was compounded by the area’s terrain as it had no upland for them to relocate to.

Accordingly, he said, all the 26 schools in the council had been converted to camps for the displaced persons but said that the camps lack basic facilities.

He added that one death, that of 17-year-old Michael Egwuaba, had been recorded since the floods started, but that the number could rise if urgent measures were not put in place to mitigate the effect of the disaster on the people.

In Lokoja metropolis, many residents living along the bank of River Niger and other flood paths have been forced out of their houses by the floods.

The situation is said to be very grim in the suburb communities of Egan, Konami, Buzih, Ebwa, Even, Lagan Budan, and Gbuj,e where residents had been forced to relocate to the neighbouring Niger State.

They appealed to the government to quickly come to the aid of the displaced persons, especially in the area of provision of water, drugs, blankets and mosquito nets for the victims.

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Gov. Yahaya Bello who declared open the meeting said that a substantial amount of money had been released to purchase drugs, food, water and other relief materials for the victims.

Bello, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, also directed that 21,000 youths recently engaged under the Federal Government’s public works programme be deployed to help in the rescue operation.

He said that maximum security would be provided for the personnel involved in the search-and-rescue operation, promising that more succour would be provided for the victims.

The NEMA Director in charge of training, Mr Mohammed Usman, said that incessant flooding had become a serious threat to the country’s efforts at becoming self-sufficient in food production.

Usman said that nine local government areas in Kogi were among the 102 in the country that had been identified as highly probable risk areas for flooding in 2020.

He called on the state government to urgently take preventive and mitigative measures to reduce the impact of the flood on people and the economy of the state.

He said that NEMA would also, in line with the Federal Government’s directive, assist the victims to find their feet and go back to farms as soon as possible.

Stakeholders at the meeting, including, the Red Cross, Navy, Civil Defence, Police, NIMET, fire services and the media all expressed their readiness to make their services available to the government.

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The Navy, marine police, civil defence, Red Cross and the fire services assured that they had enough men and equipment on the ground to confront the disaster.

Mr Julius Mejayan, Executive Secretary, KOSEMA, said that highlands had been identified and camps established across the nine local government areas prone to the disaster.

He listed the council areas as Bassa, Lokoja, Kogi, Omala, Idah, Ibaji, Dekina, Ofu and Igala-mela, warning that residents must be ready to move at any time from now.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s, they do not reflect the views of Opera News.Read more>>

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