Tuesday, February 10, 2009

GIve Peace A Chance in Anyigba

Drs. Ocheje, Yakubu and all,


Like everyone of you, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families who have directly fallen victim to the rising tide of politically motivated acts of violence in Igala land. Those of us who have not fallen victim yet might as well start readying ourselves, because at the current rate, it is a matter of time (not if) we all get consumed.

However, I have a slightly different take on this issue today.

It is very well that the number of Igala patriots who trade ideas on this and other web forums and e-boards has grown exponentially in recent years. It can also be very uplifting to get a sense of the passion folks feel when they express themselves about the different problems ravaging our land on these web forums. It is even encouraging to begin to get official responses to issues and concerns expressed here, as did Dr. Aaron Baba on the recent (unexplained) disappearance of on-line version of Kogi Graphics newspaper.


But as good as all of these developments may be, I don't see (as yet) an alternative to making the elected representatives of the people feel the full weight and depth of our disappointment in them. And as far as I can tell, there is no better medium to convey those feelings than through (Igala language segments) on radio Kogi. If you ever travel to Igala land and interact with the folks on the ground on their information sources and news consumption, you will discover that there's no medium comparable to this organ in terms of effectiveness and credibility.


And to some extent, through the physical version of the said Graphics newspaper, by way of open letter, of the kind Momoh has just put out. Not long ago, Fr. Tony Agbali also put out an analysis of our problems, which most of us considered excellent. But pray, what use is an excellent analysis if it does not get to the critical mass of both policy formulators, decision makers and the grass roots folks whose lives are mostly affected by, and dependent on these developments (or the lack thereof).

People, the way I see it, nothing is going to change or get done if we don't resolve to start speaking truth to power. Governor Idris and all the underlings between the seat of government in Lokoja and Abuja down to Anyigba, Idah, Abejukolo, Dekina, Ankpa and what have you, need to hear that, as Igala people, we are tired of being scared living in, or traveling home to be with our kins.


Similarly, those in the opposition today like Abubakar Audu, as well as the little ones lurking in the wings to jump into the political fray all need to start getting the heatfrom all of us. The idea that Igala children can be recruited and nurtured into monsters and terrorists to the point where even their original recruiters will become slaves to them is untenable. Just imagine the audacity of political thugs in Kogi state allegedly taking their criminality across state borders to the residence of a ploice operative in Makurdi because the officer was courageous enough to cause the arrest of their kinpin!  By the very nature of political power acquisition and deployment in our land, once these scoundrels have been recruited, armed and paid their seed money, it takes no time for them to snowball into uncontrollable thugs.


And like all anti-social elements, these thugs seem incapable of seeing anything wrong in the havoc they wreak on innocents. Similarly, their principals who belong in different camps may not see anything necessarily wrong in the use of these miscreants to achieve political ends. Which is why the rest of society, including you and I must stand up and call these things as we see them. To the right quarters.

Igala Association, USA, UK, Igala Project, Ufedo club (if it still exists) and even those of us who are unaffiliated have a roll to play here. As Americans like to say it, this is neither a Republican nor a Democratic issue. This is an IGALA problem.


Abu Acheneje.

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