The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward David Onoja today led a 35-man visitation team comprising National Assembly Legislators from Kogi East, State Assembly Members from Kogi East, State Executive Cabinet Members comprising of Commissioners, State Auditor General, Special Adviser to the Kogi Governor on Legislative Matters, all of Kogi East extraction and the nine (9) elected Executive Local Government Chairmen from Kogi East; to the Palace of His Royal Majesty, The Attah Igala, HRM, Alhaji Mathew Opaluwa, the Palace of the Ejeh of Dekina, His Royal Highness, Alh. Obaje Usman (OON), His Royal Highness, the Ejeh of Ankpa, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar Yakubu II.
The palaces are sighted in the three Federal Constituencies of Kogi East, a symbolic spread of the entire Igala land as most host royal fathers received the Deputy Governor and his team along with their Council Chiefs and other Royal fathers.
Speaking at the gathering, the Deputy Governor revealed the theme of the visit which was anchored on the prophecy given by the Attah of Igala on the 5th of July 2015 when Alhaji Yahaya Bello (Fairplus) and his team visited the Palace for his royal blessings before the primary elections of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which produced Prince Abubakar Audu of blessed memory as winner.
He disclosed how His Royal Majesty in his remark extemporaneously prophesied the transmutation of a Kogi Leader into the National sphere of Leadership, precisely, touching Aso Rock. In his exact words, “Very soon. Very very soon, a son of Kogi would set his foot in Aso Rock”, when he was giving his royal blessings to Alhaji Yahaya Bello, now Governor Yahaya Bello.
He spoke on the leadership dexterity of Governor Bello which sits on unity of divergence, religious balance, indifference to class segregation and tribal bigotism; a seed of leadership quality which has kept the New Direction Government together, a step down of their visit before the royal fathers.
The Deputy Governor also spoke on the infrastructural impact of Governor Yahaya Bello across Kogi State and Igala land, citing the recent upgrade of the Idah General Hospital to a Specialist Status with modern equipment, the completion of the 54km Umomi/Ajaka/Idah road project that links the Igala land to Anyigba and Ankpa.
He also revealed how the Project Light Up Kogi East (PLUKE) made a cornerstone progress as the completion of crossing over of under water cable across the Itobe Bridge by Governor Bello has linked more than 30 communities to the national grid, with excess load still available for distribution beyond the consumption of Kogi East.
He also revealed how the Governor approved the remodeling and equipping of the Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital with modern facilities to provide world class services to the people and also enable the eventual accreditation of the Faculty of Medicine, Prince Abubakar Audu University, formerly Kogi State University, Anyigba.
He also added that the Oguma-Sheria bridge that links Bassa has been slot into the 2022 budget; the Dekina/Anyigba Township Road along with the Ankpa Abejukolo roads also captured in the budget.
He emphasized on the peaceful and non-violent nature of Gov Bello whom he describes as a “shining star that cannot be hidden under the bed”, which he says, anyone around him who exemplifies an opposite character is a previously unidentified recruitment error.
He prayed for unity and peace, praying before the father of the land that those who plant the poison of disunity would be met with shame.
The Deputy Governor requested that His Royal Majesty prays for the fulfilling of the prophecy, divine wisdom and protection for the Governor along with genuine counselors to be multiplied around him as entrance is made into the year 2022 which many tags as the decision year of 2023 elections.
Before the Attah Igala, the National Legislators gave accounts of their stewardship, ranging from infrastructural projects, water projects, rural electrification, road dressings and tangible and intangible empowerments programs that cuts across youths, women and other categories of people within the society.
Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho spoke on his impact across the 9 LGAs of his Senatorial district, naming projects such as The Acharu Oil Palm, Skill Acquisition Center in Anyigba, 20-bed hospital in Imane, Olamaboro LGA amongst others. Hon. David Zacharias of Idah Federal Constituency enumerated before the Attah his roles in the efforts that culminated to the declaration of Kogi as an oil producing state, his empowerment programs along with budget inclusion of the Idah/Enugu road corridor amongst others.
House of Representatives Members Hassan Abdullahi of Dekina/Bassa and Abdullahi Halims of Ankpa, Omala, Olamaboro Federal Constituencies also gave their stewardship in the area of ongoing and completed programs spanning street lighting, solar mini grid projects, borehole waters, blocks of class rooms and national employment opportunities which were facilitated for the youths.
In response, His Royal Majesty gave his blessings. Accepted the gifts brought by the party he calls a “united” group. He prayed for the bond and oneness of the Governor and His Deputy which has span two decades to wax stronger, asking that anyone who attempts to put a wedge would face the wrought of God. He also prayed for the continous unity sons and daughters of Kogi East which according to him would make them do more for the land.
He prayed against agents of disunity in his kingdom, also asking God who gave Governor Bello the foresight to recognize these sons and daughters of value the strength to keep them together in unity. He extolled the qualities of the Deputy Governor whom he says has led charge of an exemplary united front.
At Dekina, the Palace of the Ejeh Dekina, in a flow of joy, he described the visit as rare, unusual and something new since he ascended the throne of his forefathers about 26 years ago by January 2022. He says he is impressed by the unity displayed, warning that agents of gossips and elements of disunity should desist from their stock in trade as what has happened is a signpost that in togetherness, the land can do more.
He also mentioned the relative peace enjoyed by traditional rulers under Governor Bello, noting the respect and free hand he has given them to operate with full inclusiveness in the security of their domain. He prayed for wisdom and divine health for the Governor, noting that God will take him higher in his quest for national assignment as they would do their own parts as traditional rulers.
At Ankpa, the young Ejeh, full of joy, electrified by the energy of the visit disclose how the visit has opened another chapter in Kogi State, a precedent left for others to maintain. The Deputy Governor disclosed how Ankpa was touched by the Governor especially the Ankpa Township road and the concerted efforts the Governor and the LGA Chairman who crashed insecurity to zero for an LGA which was taken over by criminals, cultists, kidnappers and other elements who rained fear and left the town restive.
Present at the Visitation are the National Legislators of Kogi East Senatorial district namely, Eleven (11) State Assembly Members of Kogi East extraction, Six (6) Commissioners of Kogi East extraction serving in the cabinet of Governor Yahaya Bello, the Auditor General for State, Hon. Yakubu Okala, the Special Adviser to Governor Bello on Legislative Matters, Hon. Musa Idoko and aides of the Deputy Governor.