Ojuwo-Omachi: The Bitter Politics and the Marginalization

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Theoretically, it is formulated that one of the purposes for the establishment of local government system in Nigeria as well as elsewhere federal States as the third tier of government is to take concerns of the local communities into consideration.

This is reputed as democratic/participatory school of thought. The theory believes that local government will provide enabling environment for a true democratic process by given people at the grassroots opportunity to participate in governance thereby being in position to make decisions about policies that affect them directly. Where people or groups of people in a given community take part in their own grassroots’ affairs, it could be said democracy is at its best but where otherwise, such arrangements or activities could be regarded as oligarchy.

The continual marginalization of the good people of Ojuwo-Omachi community in Ugwolawo Ward-1, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State is unnecessary and does not in any way represent the principle of true democracy in this current political dispensation especially under the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello who is determined to share power to communities politically treated unfair for so long.

The high level of exclusion of the good people of Ojuwo-Omachi from meaningful participation in Ofu Local Government politics is really disheartening as this has made the people to feel they have no stake in their own immediate grassroots government and that decisions concerning them directly are being taking without representative of theirs.

The good people of Ojuwo-Omachi are not only marginalized politically but also being marginalized in terms of social and economic development in Ofu local government. There is no infrastructural development in the community that the government can rightly point finger at such as provisions of social amenities like boreholes, basic healthcare and even schools.

Presently, the manual grading of the roads leading to the community is done by the community people themselves. The local government is making them to learn a hard way.

In terms of education, the LGEA primary school in Ojuwo-Omachi has its name only registered in educational department at the local government secretariat let alone its functionality. The community’s feeder roads are being managed and maintained by the people themselves. New generation of our people still do not understand what primary health care stand for in the society. Availability of water depends or is at the mercy of the Tanker-Drivers from Ochadamu and other neighboring communities.

The antagonistic treatment on the people has subjected them to a state of second-hand indigenes in their local government area and the only period when the community matters is during CENSUS and electioneering campaigns when it makes sense to the political leaders that their population is significant.

If the assertion that democracy is a government of the people, and democracy at the national level is a substitute for the real thing, then, the real democracy is at the grassroots level.

Efforts should be made therefore by the state government to ensure a level play ground in Ofu local government council affairs. Stakeholders in Ofu should as a matter of priority ensures every community is carried along so as to entrench sense of belonging.

As it stands, Ojuwo-Omachi Community is not recognized on the map of the local government area let alone at the state or the federal developmental map. It only exists on the INEC electoral sheets and that is not only place the community deserve its stays.

The great people of Ojuwo-Omachi should also understand that nothing good comes easy and as such they should be ready to go through painstaking and some bearable sacrifices even as we approach possible local government polls. They should understand that freedom is not given freely, it must be fought.

– Abdullahi Zekeri
Phone: 08071618814, Email: zamrock2018@gmail.com

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