Friday, July 8, 2011

Moderator's Brief for July 2011

Good day Honourable Members,

I bring you fraternal greetings from the EXCO of Project IGALA. In line with the need to further broaden communication channels in this forum, the EXCO, through the Moderator’s Monthly brief, will be reaching out to all members on a monthly basis with a view to engendering unfettered access and openness in our engagements, interactions and disposition.

It is indeed heart-warming to note that God has already seen us to the seventh month of this year and it is my prayer that he will continue to keep us to the very end. The past six months have been very crucial in the life of this Organisation as significant activities; achievements and discoveries have been made. It is therefore my hope that we will build on these stepping-stones in the coming months.

Agenda 2011

In line with our cardinal principles of catalysing sustainable People-Development, facilitating and shaping the exercise of political and socio-economic power, refining the intercourse of private life in Igala land; and raising the intellectual tone of the Igala society, cultivating the public mind, purifying the Igala taste while supplying true principles to popular enthusiasms and fixed aims to acceptable aspirations as well as giving enlargement and sobriety to the ideals of Igala renaissance, we have invited honourable Members of this Forum to contribute ideas, workable strategies and programmes that will take Igala land to the next level. This invitation, which goes in tandem with recent requests by members for inputs in the governance of our land, is currently running on the forum and it is our hope that we will all contribute those worthy ideas of ours before the window closes.

State of the Committees

Education:

The Project IGALA Committee on Education was reconstituted on the 20th of May 2011 with the

following as Members: Hon David Abutu (Chairman), Esther Ojochogu Opaluwah, Hon Benjamin Ikani Okolo, Baba Ojonugwa, Evang. Vera Olive Otini, Engr. Abdul Audu, Eleojo Yusuf Okolo, Emmanuel Odugbo, Abalaka Ogbadu, Samson Haruna and Henry Agbonika (Secretary). The committee has already set in place machineries for the accomplishment of its mandate as well as the performance of its statutory functions. The committee was also actively involved in the recent commissioning and donation of school furniture and Project IGALA branded notebooks at Ogane-Inigu. The committee is already primed to replicate this in Okpo and other rural communities in igala land. Charles Obera has already picked the gauntlet for his own community and more expressions of interest are being awaited from members of this forum.

The committee is equally on the verge of establishing workable collaborations with relevant bodies like the Kogi State Ministry of Education, UNICEF, ActionAid, and the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA). This is with a view to achieving the objectives of the “Education For All” (EFA) goals in Igala land. The EDUCOM members are also committed to conducting their usual round of scholarship disbursements across Igala land this December and both old and new sponsors are invited.

Igala Economic Summit Steering Committee

Following the dissolution of this committee and several interventions by Members of this forum, Igala UK & Igala US, the Exco is currently exploring credible ways of moving ahead with the 1st Igala Economic Summit and members will be briefed accordingly in due course.

Health Committee

The Project IGALA Committee on Health was constituted on the 25th of March 2011 with the following as Members: Dr Ali Onoja (Chairman), Dr Siaka Alhassan, Hon Benjamin Okolo, Sule Abah, Pharm. Ugbede Ibrahim, Dr. Sam Alfa, Negedu Emmanuel, Dr. Zakari Usman, and Hajiya Halima Yakubu-Audu (Secretary). This committee has since held its inaugural meeting and it is on the verge of fulfilling its mandate. The Committee also anticipates the active sponsorship and participation of all Members in its activities and programmes, which will be rolled out soon.

Pending Committees

Expressions of interest into Environment, Sports and Information Committees are still on as their immediate constitution rests squarely on the response level of interested Members.

Project IGALA Forum on Prime FM Lokoja

The Forum remains grateful to all those who came to the rescue of this programme on Prime FM Lokoja particularly Blessing Agada, John Oyidh, Akubo Adegbe, Hon Ben Okolo, Hon David Abutu, Evang Vera Otini, Dr Ali Onoja, Engr Abdul Audu and Ojochide Akpa for their contributions so far. The programme sponsorship has kicked off in earnest and members of this forum are invited to send in written or oral contributions as well as topical issues for discussion on the one-hour programme slot sponsored by Project IGALA. Note that this programme sponsorship is to last for 24 months in the first instance.

Call to Service

Project IGALA remains resolute in its drive to provide ample opportunities for useful interface between the rulers and ruled in Igala land as part of our aggregated efforts at galvanising workable and 21st century-driven ideas and strategies into the governance of our land. This, we believe, is not achievable without disagreements and agreements, but a conscious effort on our part to put our rulers to task by asking relevant questions, commending them where necessary, critiquing policies and actions with a view to proffering workable solutions, and condemning in no less stronger terms, actions/disposition/policies of the Government that tend to augment the miseries of our people will all go a long way in entrenching the desired change in the land which we all seek.

Equally important is the need for us to become agents of the change we all desire. We must make efforts to change ourselves first, change our families, our streets, our communities and then our land. Thankfully, Project IGALA offers a veritable platform for the execution of such self-help, humanitarian and pro-development activities through our various committees which include: Agriculture, Culture & Tourism, Education, Empowerment, Environment, Finance & Appropriation, Health, Information, Infrastructure, Investments & Securities, Judiciary/Human Rights, Women Development, and Youth & Sports and many others.

The most potent question now is "how have we been able to buy into these initiatives for the benefit of our individual communities, needless to mention Igala land as a whole? How many of us have filled our statement of interest forms indicating which committee or committees we would like to be part of? Besides, this forum is run with funds that trickle in from the N12, 000 Project IGALA subscription fee that is attached to the statement of interest form, EXCO sponsorships and public-spirited Members. The statement of interest form is hereby attached, download, fill and return yours today with subscription fee please!

In the past, committees were set-up with the assumed belief that we were all ready to match our words with actions (which most times revolve round attending online committee meetings or responding to committee deliberations online). The reverse was regretfully the case as many of these committees became dysfunctional owing largely to membership inactivity, hence their dissolution. We find it absurd to note that many of us develop cold feet when it comes to taking pragmatic actions aimed at correcting the situation of things at home but suddenly come alive whenever politics, name-calling, crossfire and personality clashes hold sway.

Project IGALA tenaciously believes that the Government alone cannot translate into reality, our dreams of a better life and a promising future for our people in the face of the current contrasting global realities. It is equally our belief that Government at all levels, has failed the Igala nation, hence our aspiration to become the ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT in our land! But the inescapable fact remains that we cannot become what we want to be through unparalleled keyboard activism and flatulent online postulations. We can only achieve that through the fusion of our passionate ideas with concrete actions, and by acting with integrity, serving with love, working for communal peace and progress, and believing in what we do by doing what we believe in. We can also achieve it through the instrumentality of our intellect, focal commitment to shared values of healthy progress, and unwavering abhorrence of individual success in the midst of communal failure.

It is by so doing that our contributions and relevance to Igala land will achieve immortality because in the long run, we would have succeeded in raising the intellectual tone of the Igala society, cultivating the public mind, purifying the Igala taste, supplying true principles to popular enthusiasms and fixing aims to popular aspirations as well as giving enlargement and sobriety to the ideals of Igala renaissance.

Challenges before Project IGALA

The challenge therefore is for us to rise above our present limitations and do SOMETHING! The imperatives of pragmatic actions in our present-day Igala land can never be overemphasised as we live daily with barefaced realities of poverty, neglect and backwardness. A little contribution of your widow’s mite can go a long way in helping Project IGALA to achieve the following communal imperatives:

· Installing a borehole for an Igala community that negotiates daily rendezvous with river blindness, diarrhea, cholera and other water borne maladies.

· Providing mosquito-treated nets for communities that are ravaged by malaria

· Sending or keeping an orphan in school.

· Donating drugs, clothing, medical equipment and sundries to needy homes (such as Ministry of Mercy Otutulu, Ochadamu Leprosarium, Ika Mission Hospital, Unyi Abune, Okpo, Old Peoples homes, Dispensaries, Clinics and Hospitals in Igala land

· Providing vocational training and skills acquisition opportunities that will dissuade our brothers and sisters at home from taking the trip to the desolate wastelands of thug-related fantasies and prostitution.

· Deploying TV, Radio and Billboards to sensitise and enlighten our parents, brothers and sisters at home against patronising quack medical practices and fake drugs that presently find their way into Igala land from Eastern Nigeria.

· Sponsorship of the school fees of a minimum of 30 students (at N3, 500 per student) in any school/community of your choice through Project IGALA.

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· Increasing our people’s economic power by providing opportunities for group activities and interactions that will improve their access to technologies appropriate to their skills, incomes and environments.

· Establishing sports, movie and tourism academies to yank thousands of our talented youth from hopeless badlands of idleness and joblessness.

· Acquiring/renting an office facility for Project IGALA in Anyigba, Dekina LGA

· Donating textbooks and writing materials to libraries in public Primary and post-Primary schools in Igala land

· Providing furniture and materials to schools in Igala land

· Sponsoring the production of Specially Designed Educational Notebooks to be distributed to indigent students in Igala land through the Project IGALA Educational Scheme with your name/Organisation imprinted boldly.

· Sponsoring the purchase and distribution of textbooks and other handy educational materials to indigent students in Igala land.

· Sponsoring/Providing Land/Accommodation/Computers/Furniture or Electronics for the establishment of an Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Centre in any part of Igala land in collaboration with Project IGALA

· Sponsoring Teacher-Training Seminars for Teachers of Primary and Post-Primary Schools in Igala land in collaboration with Project IGALA

· Instituting a worthy Prize for the best graduating student of any of the faculties in Kogi State University Anyigba and Kogi State College of Education, Ankpa in collaboration with Project IGALA.

· Establishing a Community Education Trust Fund in any community of your choice in collaboration with Project IGALA

· Establishing a Community radio station in Igala land

· Constructing ultra-modern Classrooms for Primary schools in Igala land

· Sponsoring free eye surgery campaigns in Igala land

These and many we can do if we elect to match our words with the requisite action. Even Karl Marx, at the twilight of his intellectual prognosis, blurted out, “ philosophers have only interpreted the world, the point is to change it.”

The onus is now on us, for CHANGE MUST COME TO IGALA LAND, and it must start with you and I, and the time is NOW!

Attached herewith are copies of statement of interest form, Project Sponsorship Card and Fact File. Fill them and give Project IGALA the privilege of taking the stress of logistics, publicity and human resources off your shoulders as we actualise your dream of giving back to the land of your noble birth!

Yours in eternal service,

Atâyi Babs

MODERATOR

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