By James Ibech

I am not aware of any contributions of the umbrella bodies of Tiv, Idoma and Igede people in the Diaspora to the development of socio-economic and political life of their state and home govt to attract the amount of crème de la crème of the state personalities such as recently thronged the US’ Benue events. Forgive my ignorance!
But as a workaholic journalist on the subdesk of Daily Independent Newspapers back in Lagos, I was abreast with the constant activities of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere in the Diaspora UK, US, etc, towards the development of their home people and states.
For instance, in some of the south east states, the voice and hand of Ohanaeze the apex sociocultural organization of the Igbo people in US and UK are always heard loud and clear, and felt in determining elections of credible candidates in their home front. They don’t just sit like armchair hosts at UK and US only to invite their leaders at home to grace their events and to see the beauty of America and Britain. They are not-all-talk, they also commit Dollars and Pound Sterling in thousands to the cause of developing their land or establishing good leadership for their home states in Igbo land. This is verifiable.
But in the case of Benue, it does not seem to me that there is anything to point as such about the Diaspora umbrella organisations of Idoma, Tiv and Igede people. And if this is, why the waste of resources travelling with a large detachment of state officials for the social function when the backwardness of the state is like no other in the country? Workers welfare is comatose. Our state roads are in sordid state of disrepair. General infrastructure is an eyesore. Youth unemployment is alarming. Agro-allied industries have collapsed. All these areas need urgent attention beyond rhetorics.
Our leaders need a second look at some of the trips before embarking on them.

Hardball 71


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