By Comr. Patrick Akobo
The President General, Omi Ny’lgede Comrade Ben Okpa on behalf of Royal Highness, The Adirahu Ny’lgede, Chief Oga Ero (Cp Rtd) wishes to thank his Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom represented by His Deputy, Engr. Benson Abounu, for finding time to grace the 2019 Igede Agba Celebration held at Oju Local Government pavilion on Saturday 7th September, 2019.
The President also thanked the Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Titus Uba, his Deputy Rt. Hon. Christopher Adaji and other members of Benue State House of Assembly, Our Royal Fathers, the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayase and the Ochi Idoma, Chief Elias Ekoyi Obekpa as well as the Management of Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Markurdi.
The President General also appreciates the management of Radio Benue, Makurdi, Nigeria Television Authority International (NTAi), TVC news and Agba Radio and Harvest FM for covering the event.
Others to share in the appreciation are President General OctetohaK’Idoma, Bar. Amali Adoya Amali, the President General Gabu Development Association Cross River State Hon. Mathias Oko, the Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources, Makurdi Engr. Francis Olo, Prof Odeh Ojowu, Maj General Ede Ode, Mrs. Patricia Kupchi, Igede Consultative Forum, Agba Klub of Makurdi, Igede Unity Club, Okpawule Wule Club, Agba Welfare Association and other sons and daughters of Igede Nation too numerous to mention who travelled from within and outside the country to witness the New Yam Festival celebration.
The President General thanks the Oju LGC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Hon. Mrs. Alicia Eru for providing the enabling environment to make the occasion a huge success. He particularly appreciates the Obi Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairman Hon. Joseph Ipenyi along with respected sons and daughters of Obi LGA as well as three Cultural Dancing Groups from Obi LGA for their full participation in the 2019 Igede Agba celebration despite the threat by the Ad’Obi Chief Linus Okwute and some selected stake holders to boycott the ceremony.
Reacting to the allegation of marginalisation as abused by Ad’Obi, Chief Linus Okwute and other stakeholders, the President General stated that he stands for the unity of Igede people both at home and in the diaspora and cannot afford the marginalization of one segment at the expense of the other. He further explained that the key positions in the National Executive Committee i.e. the Vice President General, the Secretary General, the Treasurer and Provost Marshal are all from Obi Local Government Area and wondered why they should complain of marginalization.
On the issue of clans in Igede Land, the President General explained that those things existed long before he was born and that they are beyond the scope of the Omi Ny’Igede Development Association and advised Ad’Obi to re-channel his grievances to Igede Intermediate Area Traditional Council.
He added that Igede People are known for peace and unity among one another and should therefore use dialogue as a means of resolving their issues in the private domain rather than washing their dirty linens in the public, especially in the road and social media.
He also stated that Omi Ny’Igede is a non-political socio-cultural organization and warned that those trying to politicize the organization in order to disrupt the unity of Igede Nation for their selfish interests should stay clear.
Comr. Ben Okpa MNIM, MNES, AIMLS