One Day Interface with Kogi Central CSOs: President General’s Speech

Posted by: | Posted on: April 27, 2018

AN ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT-GENERAL OF EBIRA PEOPLE’S ASSOCIATION, DR ADEIZA MUSA ABDULRAHMAN ON THE OCCASION OF ITS INTERFACE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN KOGI CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT AT CHELSEA HOTELS (CLASSIC), CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, ABUJA ON THE 26TH APRIL, 2018.

I would like to begin by paying respect to the great men and women who sacrificed so much to build our land. They were the possessors of the great virtues and heritage which we strive to uphold today. From hunting to weaving, from farming to trading, from warfare to peace making, they were the heroes that left footprints. They gave so much to earn little. They bore the brunt of the society to ensure a greater tomorrow. They represent the human embodiment of our tribal essence and on this day, I reserve my warmest tributes to their great memory.
Thank you also to the great men and women of today that are giving so much to ensure that the great virtues of our ancestors are passed unto generations. In this hall and outside are such great personalities as the Executive Governor of Kogi state, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello, The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim, representatives of the various groups and Associations that make up our entity. Your voices have been a remarkable blend of statesmanship and patriotism. Today, I salute your courage and indefatigable resilience.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me remind you of one aphorism that those who want to destroy an empire first go for the citadels. Citadels are stronghold, bastions, fortresses etc. Our citadels in the contemporary times are those things that define us, Legacies things that would be handed over from one generation to the other. They include our traditional institutions, our famous culture and norms, our language, our geographical territory, prized history and our virtues and values. Without them there won’t be us with distinct identity and ways. I am sure we are in our different groups and organizations in surreptitious preserve and promotion of these values and institutions. Today I regret to observe that by acts of our collective commission, omission or even willful amnesia or outright resignation, these citadels are under threat of abuse or extinct.
No doubt, the strength of our community has increased in literary attainment, but to what level have we been able to unify these voices to enable it gather enough momentum in pursuance of our noble heritage? It is disheartening to note that some of the legacies for our present development were laid when less than 5% of our population was educated. Today our literary attainment is in the range of 50 to 60% of our population. It is quite embarrassing that the current 60% has not been able to preserve the legacy institutions that the less than 5% bequeathed to us talk less of building on them. Let us recall that our Ancestors bequeathed Ebiraland to us as a confederacy of clans and sub ethnic groups stretching across the east bank of River Niger at Etu-Ube (caricatured as Itobe) through Opete and reaching as far down south as Kukuruku hills around Okpella while also, the western and Northern borders of the kingdom terminate at the Kabba hills and the southern tip of the great River Niger at Lokoja respectively. It is a common knowledge that our territories are now being contested with us by neighbors in areas contiguous to our boundaries. Ajaokuta steel company, occupying a vast twenty four hectares, fought for, and ensured that it was located on our land in 1958 by our forebears, is still at best a mere diagram on the drawing board. Okene water works and General Hospital that were built variously in 1937 and 1958 never had much improvement until the current ongoing efforts of His Excellency Alhaji Adoza Bello. Our Bariki market has remained essentially remained the same over the years. Even the official palace of the traditional ruler of the kingdom was left overgrown with weeds. The warehouses of the 70s are no more, yet Ebira has a spectacular geographical advantage of being a gateway to the northern and southern part of the country and invariably a potential commercial hub. Our cultural festivities have stoically resisted reforms with the participants and promoters in a free-giver entertainment without commensurate compensation.
Incompetence and selfishness have reduced us to where we are today. Political representation has been nothing other than a voyage to selfish enrichment with little or no attempt to leave an enduring legacy in the benefactor community. Politics appear to have failed us in Ebiraland as it has left nothing other than consanguine bloodletting, hatred, rancor, acrimony, selfish enrichment and disunity on its trail. We have simply not been able to maintain or build on the achievements of our forbearers. Mediocrity has become heavily institutionalized in our polity with very disastrous consequences for our race. For far too long we have inflicted and nursed a wound of division on our community to the extent that our discordant voices become too feeble for the audible attention of the wider world. The need to forgive ourselves to forge unity towards our sociopolitical development cannot be deferred further. We have to close the fingers to achieve a strong punch. Tomorrow will rather be too late as the world is far too gone. This is the basis for this interface. This is why you are all invited here today to put heads, eyes and hands together to search for our strands of unity and braid them together as a pillar for our sociopolitical development.
The people gathered here today remain the conscience of our community. You represent various segments of our race. We have to come up with unified voice on the basic irreducible minimum for acceptance to serve in our communities. We have to define the fundamentals of our community to our leaders. Enough of people taking us for granted. Many Politicians distribute toys as empowerment. Let us look for those that will help discover, empower, groom and promote the hidden talents amongst us, not those that will promote societal leeches that perpetually pride themselves as professional politicians. Let us look for those with the pedigree and programs of genuine support for the revival of our local industries. Those aspirants that will help return the era of distributorship of products of transnational conglomerates through building of warehouses and providing real financial support to our traders and artisans. This certainly, will encourage productive engagement and increased financial liquidity in our local economy. Such compelling productivity will reduce idleness and position our young people to participate in decision of state. We need Leaders that will help rebuild our primary schools. We need Leaders in the mould of our forefathers who sacrificed their comforts by converting the rooms, parlors and garages of their houses to dormitories for the indigent children of the community to have access to education. We need Leaders who are selflessly challenged to struggle for the common good of Ebiraland. We have them amongst us. We just need to stoic our consciences to reawaken the Ebira spirit in us- the spirit of ‘One for all and all for one’ the spirit of being your brother’s keeper, the spirit of craftsmanship the ANEBIRA SPIRIT OF OLD.
We have to rebuild our unity by jettisoning old practices that have stunted our socioeconomic developments. We must close ranks. The clannish divide must vanish. Religious polarization must disappear. One of the greatest assets we have at achieving our unity and the development of our community is having the leadership of the State. I was reliably informed that work has commenced at renovating our Palace, Water works and Central mosque (Built by the Late Ibrahim Onoruoiza and commissioned in 1955 by Sheikh Nias of Senegal). We commend the State Governor for this. He certainly needs our encouragement to do more. This, we have to give. We have to hold onto the economic, political and traditional advantages we hold today to build a better tomorrow. The opportunities must not be frittered away on the basis of rancor and hatred. We must honor our heroes by remaining relentless and vigilant in our agitation for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Complex. We must also not fail to take the advantage of our location to attract investments in commerce and industries.
From this hall I trust you would muster strong voices and deeds to redeem our land. It is our collective destiny to change the narratives about our community. We can collectively define parameters for this. I am convinced that you can and much more optimistic that you will. This is the minimum Ebira People’s Association request of you in this gathering of today.
Thank you for coming and God blessAN ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT-GENERAL OF EBIRA PEOPLE’S ASSOCIATION, DR ADEIZA MUSA ABDULRAHMAN ON THE OCASSION OF ITS INTERFACE WITH CIVIL SOCEITY ORGANISATIONS IN KOGI CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT AT CHELSEA HOTELS (CLASSIC), CENTRAL BUISNESS DISTRICT, ABUJA ON THE 26TH APRIL, 2018.
I would like to begin by paying respect to the great men and women who sacrificed so much to build our land. They were the possessors of the great virtues and heritage which we strive to uphold today. From hunting to weaving, from farming to trading, from warfare to peace making, they were the heroes that left footprints. They gave so much to earn little. They bore the brunt of the society to ensure a greater tomorrow. They represent the human embodiment of our tribal essence and on this day, I reserve my warmest tributes to their great memory.
Thank you also to the great men and women of today that are giving so much to ensure that the great virtues of our ancestors are passed unto generations. In this hall and outside are such great personalities as the Executive Governor of Kogi state, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello, The Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, His Majesty, Dr Ado Ibrahim, representatives of the various groups and Associations that make up our entity. Your voices have been a remarkable blend of statesmanship and patriotism. Today, I salute your courage and indefatigable resilience.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me remind you of one aphorism that those who want to destroy an empire first go for the citadels. Citadels are stronghold, bastions, fortresses etc. Our citadels in the contemporary times are those things that define us, Legacies things that would be handed over from one generation to the other. They include our traditional institutions, our famous culture and norms, our language, our geographical territory, prized history and our virtues and values. Without them there won’t be us with distinct identity and ways. I am sure we are in our different groups and organizations in surreptitious preserve and promotion of these values and institutions. Today I regret to observe that by acts of our collective commission, omission or even willful amnesia or outright resignation, these citadels are under threat of abuse or extinct.
No doubt, the strength of our community has increased in literary attainment, but to what level have we been able to unify these voices to enable it gather enough momentum in pursuance of our noble heritage? It is disheartening to note that some of the legacies for our present development were laid when less than 5% of our population was educated. Today our literary attainment is in the range of 50 to 60% of our population. It is quite embarrassing that the current 60% has not been able to preserve the legacy institutions that the less than 5% bequeathed to us talk less of building on them. Let us recall that our Ancestors bequeathed Ebiraland to us as a confederacy of clans and sub ethnic groups stretching across the east bank of River Niger at Etu Ube (caricatured as Itobe) through Opete and reaching as far down south as Kukuruku hills around Okpella while also, the western and Northern borders of the kingdom terminate at the Kabba hills and the southern tip of the great River Niger at Lokoja respectively. It is a common knowledge that our territories are now being contested with us by neighbors in areas contiguous to our boundaries. Ajaokuta steel company, occupying a vast twenty four hectares, fought for, and ensured that it was located on our land in 1958 by our forebears, is still at best a mere diagram on the drawing board. Okene water works and General Hospital that were built variously in 1937 and 1958 never had much improvement until the current ongoing efforts of His Excellency Alhaji Adoza Bello. Our Bariki market has remained essentially remained the same over the years. Even the official palace of the traditional ruler of the kingdom was left overgrown with weeds. The warehouses of the 70s are no more, yet Ebira has a spectacular geographical advantage of being a gateway to the northern and southern part of the country and invariably a potential commercial hub. Our cultural festivities have stoically resisted reforms with the participants and promoters in a free-giver entertainment without commensurate compensation.
Incompetence and selfishness have reduced us to where we are today. Political representation has been nothing other than a voyage to selfish enrichment with little or no attempt to leave an enduring legacy in the benefactor community. Politics appear to have failed us in Ebiraland as it has left nothing other than consanguine bloodletting, hatred, rancor, acrimony, selfish enrichment and disunity on its trail. We have simply not been able to maintain or build on the achievements of our forbearers. Mediocrity has become heavily institutionalized in our polity with very disastrous consequences for our race. For far too long we have inflicted and nursed a wound of division on our community to the extent that our discordant voices become too feeble for the audible attention of the wider world. The need to forgive ourselves to forge unity towards our sociopolitical development cannot be deferred further. We have to close the fingers to achieve a strong punch. Tomorrow will rather be too late as the world is far too gone. This is the basis for this interface. This is why you are all invited here today to put heads, eyes and hands together to search for our strands of unity and braid them together as a pillar for our sociopolitical development.
The people gathered here today remain the conscience of our community. You represent various segments of our race. We have to come up with unified voice on the basic irreducible minimum for acceptance to serve in our communities. We have to define the fundamentals of our community to our leaders. Enough of people taking us for granted. Many Politicians distribute toys as empowerment. Let us look for those that will help discover, empower, groom and promote the hidden talents amongst us, not those that will promote societal leeches that perpetually pride themselves as professional politicians. Let us look for those with the pedigree and programs of genuine support for the revival of our local industries. Those aspirants that will help return the era of distributorship of products of transnational conglomerates through building of warehouses and providing real financial support to our traders and artisans. This certainly, will encourage productive engagement and increased financial liquidity in our local economy. Such compelling productivity will reduce idleness and position our young people to participate in decision of state. We need Leaders that will help rebuild our primary schools. We need Leaders in the mould of our forefathers who sacrificed their comforts by converting the rooms, parlors and garages of their houses to dormitories for the indigent children of the community to have access to education. We need Leaders who are selflessly challenged to struggle for the common good of Ebiraland. We have them amongst us. We just need to stoic our consciences to reawaken the Ebira spirit in us- the spirit of ‘One for all and all for one’ the spirit of being your brother’s keeper, the spirit of craftsmanship the ANEBIRA SPIRIT OF OLD.
We have to rebuild our unity by jettisoning old practices that have stunted our socioeconomic developments. We must close ranks. The clannish divide must vanish. Religious polarization must disappear. One of the greatest assets we have at achieving our unity and the development of our community is having the leadership of the State. I was reliably informed that work has commenced at renovating our Palace, Water works and Central mosque (Built by the Late Ibrahim Onoruoiza and commissioned in 1955 by Sheikh Nias of Senegal). We commend the State Governor for this. He certainly needs our encouragement to do more. This, we have to give. We have to hold onto the economic, political and traditional advantages we hold today to build a better tomorrow. The opportunities must not be frittered away on the basis of rancor and hatred. We must honor our heroes by remaining relentless and vigilant in our agitation for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Complex. We must also not fail to take the advantage of our location to attract investments in commerce and industries.
From this hall I trust you would muster strong voices and deeds to redeem our land. It is our collective destiny to change the narratives about our community. We can collectively define parameters for this. I am convinced that you can and much more optimistic that you will. This is the minimum Ebira People’s Association request of you in this gathering of today.
Thank you for coming and God bless