Okene-Eba-Idozumi-Ateba Road: Open Letter to Gov Yahaya Bello

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Introduction

Historically, Okene-eba Community is located on the hill top a vintage position for security check against enemies of Ebiraland during the colonial imperialist. Based on its topographical placement the Community oversees all other Communities of Ebira nation for surveillance purpose to checkmate any intruders up in armed against Anebira. It was strategic and fundamental in the life and history of Ebira people.

The Community served as administrative headquarters in the 50-60s before the modern Ebira nation.It is indeed a cradle of civilization and artifacts to Ebira existence

Okene-eba was seat of power during the reign of Atta of Ebiraland, HRM, Alh. Ibrahim Atta Onoruoiza father of the current Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, HRM, Dr.(Alh.) Ado Ibrahim, Atta III.

The traditional Court of old was located in the Community where justice were dispensed for sanity and wellbeing of the people.

Okene-eba, as it were, ought to be given status of a “city” as it was done to Zaria City in the Northwest of Nigeria due to her traditional values and security defense against inter/intra colonialism by other neighborhood.

The Community warehoused the rich culture of Ebira nation and served as home to who is who then in Ebiraland some among them were Adai Atta Omadivi, Onyai Iyebe, mother of Alh. Ibrahim Atta, the first gazetted paramount chief in Ebiraland, Adai Ohindase, Adai Ozumi of Ebiraland, Adai Samari, Adai Ihima, Adai Okino, Adai Ichimiri, Adai Umoru Adabara, Adai Awo, Adai Ojenya, Adai Ovambe, Adai Abdulmalik Atta, first Nigeria High Commissioner to Britain, Adai, Alh.Usman Ovatemi, fmr, Deputy Governor and host of others.

The Community equally play host to some popular traditional masquerades e.g Ogugureba Obanyi, Aneku Okevere, Aneku Avokuta Obanyi, who later  relocated to town, Aneku Adokita and Aneku Iba’agi who has the sole authority to declare Ebe festival.

Okene-eba Community in some climes needs to carry “great walls” round its perimeter boundaries for preservation and special attention as it was done for Zaria city in the reign of Queen Amina, and Berlin in Mexico.

Infrastructural Development

With no exaggerations it is indeed very sad and lamentable that this very important Community suffered a serious administrative neglect from several democratically elected administration since creation of Kogi state in 1991.The monumental edifice used by Late Atta during his reign has gone due to lack of maintenance and preservation which would have serves as a research centre to our younger generation.

The only road that runs through the Community was provided by the colonial masters in the 50s not tarred , the stretch of the road begins from Idozumi through Okene-eba down to Ateba in Agassa community where the Governor lives and by extension his ward (Okene-eba/Agassa-Ahache Ward).

This reminds me of a popular adage; “Esi eze in’nehi asho hureni”, meaning charity begins at home. The Community suffered a serious set back due to lack of hindsight and administrative default.

We equally faced with acute water shortage, health delivery system and other essentials of life.

The road received its first official government touch in 1989 when I represented the ward as democratically elected Councillor in 1987 under the Chairmanship of Alh. Nasiru Soso as executive officer when Ebira nation was just two local government.

The Local Government organized fund raising/ launching for the reconstruction of the road under the Chairmanship of Chief Onwuka Kalu, CEO, Onwuka interbiz Ltd and Alh. Maitama Sule, Dan Massani Kano as Guest Speaker. After the launch, the Kwara State Government took over the road from the Local Government for reconstruction without counterpart funding from the Local Government.

Your Excellency, the road has gone back to its deplorable condition for lack of maintenance and care by the successive administration for over thirty (30) yrs after i left Council.The state government then in collaboration with  the Federal Government on Ekuku Dam made some intervention to bail out the Community from the water problem, these two key projects are shadows of itself today.

Your Excellency, if a non-indigene Governor could go extra miles to come to the rescue of a suffering Community like Okene-eba I am vividly sure and guarantee that you will gladly temper justice with mercy and accept our prayers to reconstruct the road to celebrate your first 100 days in office into the second term.

Advantages of the Road

The road serves as bypass to Agassa/Ukpogoro and Ajaokuta check point down to Auchi road linking Edo State. It also connect Obehira/Ihima through Ateba-Agassa junction. It equally join Ahache-Eyinare/Idoji Road, etc.

Your Excellency, we know the dynamics of budget operation, in case the ROAD is not captured in the 2020 Appropriation Bills his Excellency can declare a state of emergency on the road and send Executive Bill to the State Assembly for approval as a matter of Public interest.

Our Prayers

1. That the state government should kindly reconstruct the road for us to ease our suffering and long neglect in order to enhance the Community’s economic potentials.

2. That his excellency should give the community some intervention in the area of water supply in the best way deem by the government.

3. That the Community should be provided with the modern health delivery scheme to ease our health challenges.

4. That our Primary Schools should be renovated with additional Classrooms to enhance more children enrollment to satisfy Education For Change 2030 to which Nigeria is signatory to.

On behalf of the Community, I wish your Excellency happy tenure with remarkable landmark and celebrated legacy to remember the administration for.

God bless Nigeria, Kogi state and GYB.

Signed:

Suleiman Onimisi Khalid
For: Okene-eba Central Community Chairman.


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