The senatorial candidate of National Rescue Movement (NRM) for Kogi East, Isaiah Davis (ID) Ijele, has decried environmental challenges in the eastern part of the state.
Speaking with our reporter during a telephone discourse on Tuesday, ID Ijele said the erosion menace ravaging Igala/Bassa land has taken a great toll on the people with many families displaced and people’s sources of livelihood destroyed.
He promised to use the National Assembly, if voted for, to call on federal government to declare a state of emergency on the menace.
“Erosion is destroying our soil in kogi East. If we don’t declare erosion in Kogi East as an emergency case
that needs Federal and state government attention then we are going to be sacked from our ancestral
land in few years to come.
“Meanwhile, our ecological funds as a nation since 1982 have not be accounted for. What an irony! Not under my watch as your Senator. We will key into the partnership with the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP). We will seek a bill that will empower their operations across Nigeria. Use of land guides and other causes aggravating the situations will be well managed,” he said.
ID Ijele also lamented the adverse environmental impact of ongoing coal mining in communities across Kogi East.
“Mineral deposits in our land should be used to our advantage and not to our detriment. We are faced with situation where our people benefits nothing from the companies involved in this exploration, rather a few selfish individuals. No corporate social responsibility from these companies. Existing roads are destroyed and our people are been murdered on the roads by their trucks.
“Using my position as a senator, I will liaise with our people and this companies with the help of consultants in the mining sector so the company will implement existing MOU with host communities and where the people were short changed, new MOU will be put in place. The MOU must be implemented to 70% before we can allow further exploration.
“It is our land. The mineral belongs to us Our children should be on scholarship sponsored by these companies.”
ID Ijele said his emergence as Senator will represent freedom from political deprivation, starvation, spell of godfatherism and liberty for upcoming politicians.
“I know there are those who don’t believe we can do all these things. I understand the skepticism. After all, every four years, candidates from all political parties make similar promises, this year will be no different.
“All of us will trumpet those qualities we believe make us uniquely qualified to lead the district. But too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memories and the lobbyists and the special interests move in, and people turned away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own. That is why this campaign can’t only be about me. It must be
about us – it must be about what we can do together, few obstacles can not withstand the power of millions of voices calling and yearning for a true change in Nigeria and Kogi East.”