Opinion: The 10 Old Virgins of Bassa Local Government Area in Kogi State

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“By the Rivers of Shintako, there I sat and wept when I remembered the 10 old virgins of Bassa Local Government.  For you have craved to be married in true love and honesty for so long in time.

These 10 old virgins are the 10 wards of Bassa Local Government veiled in the three districts namely Bassa Nge, Bassa Komu and the Mozum District.

I have visited you severally in your veiled districts and wards and have discovered the hidden economic potentials yet untapped for your economic good. There is virtually no ward in your local government without immense economic benefit.

A huge amount of rice is cultivated at your various wards but they exit no modern Rice milling plants so as to provide job opportunities to your educated but unemployed youths. You still mill your rice locally. A very large amount of your rice produce are transported to other states of the country for milling who now parades themselves as rice producing states. Cassava grows favorable well at your various wards in the local government but the same fate that befalls you in Rice also befalls you in Cassava.

There is little or no Government presence in your Local government. The road from Shintako to Oguma the Local Government headquarters has become a nightmare and a death trap to commuters. Only adequate lip service is paid to it by successive Governments in the state. A supposed journey of about 20mins from Shintako to Oguma has been escalated to 1hrs or sometime 2hrs depending on your pace in a bid to avoid damage to your vehicle.

Good health services do not exit in Bassa Local Government as ailing Patients needs to cross the river to lokoja or proceed to as far as Anyigba in Dekina Local Government for proper Medical Treatment. The primary educational system in Bassa is in comatose. Dilapidated school building infrastructure liters the whole 10 wards of the Local Government. Teachers are owed salaries for months. Most of them have taken to peasant farming for survival.

In all, Bassa is a land of great potentials and opportunities. It can thrive immensely in Tourism as it shows to the whole world the meeting point of the Rivers Niger and the Benue; two great rivers in Africa. Am sure many tourist haven’t seen this before. Bassa thrives in Fishery, Cash Crops and potentially and is potentially an Agro processing center for the State and indeed Nigeria. Bassa is the most Politically Enlightened local government in the whole of Kogi East voting for candidates of their choice irrespective of political party and affiliations. The Bassa people supports candidates based on trust and personal conviction rather than financial inducements. I personal refer to Bassa as the “candle light of the eastern dark” and a  “ beautiful bride waiting to be married”.

However, in view of this good attributes of the Bassa people, Bassa is mostly forgotten or left to her fate immediately after every elections as it is practically under developed.

Oh Ten Virgin of Bassa Local Government, you are so fair and beautiful to look upon. Your long aged virginity is of great concern to me. Come hither and be married to me; for I am not as way ward and corrupt at heart like other men who may have approached you for love. I shall expose you to the beautiful hidden potentials naturally endowed in you if given the opportunity.

 

– Sani Idakwo Philips is an aspirant seeking to represent the good and amiable people of Dekina / Bassa Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives come 2019.


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