A popular saying goes thus that “one does not know the value of what he has until he loses it”.
Kogi people, especially the Ebira extraction were thrown into wilderness on the 2nd of June 2020 when a high court sitting in Lokoja declared Koton-karfi, Lokoja and Ajaokuta as part of Igala Kingdom and under the jurisdiction of the Attah Igala in a suit which the Anthony General of the Federation and that of Kogi State were respondents.
Added to the sudden shock was an award cost of N10 billion Naira compensation to be paid to Igala Kingdom for Illegally operating on her soil without royalties for years.
Receiving this unpleasing news, the despair of the Ebiras is not only in the unforseen court ruling but in the fact that an Ebira powerful son is currently occupying the Lugard house with loaded record of victories in all his legal battles since assumption of office. Whether or not the governor might have traded the case as ‘thank you’ gift to the Attah for his re-election; or he had no prior knowledge of the case; are questions of time as events unfold.
While many were still hunting for the truth behind the sudden court ruling, some Ebira sons and daughters loyal to the current Kogi administration took to social media, drumming for war against the Igalas. Some were recorded chanting in Governor Bello/Onoja violent campaign slogan of tata-tata-ta (which signifies sporadic gun shots). Others called out GYB (Governor Yahaya Bello), the Ohinoyi of Ebira and NASS members from Kogi Central to wake up from slumber and save their leaning territory (Ebira Land).
Days after, the looming darkness continued. There seemed no clue on the faith of Ebira Kingdom. Interestingly, a swift hope turned to a once rejected daughter of the land. Social media was littered with captions calling on Natasha Akpoti (Amazon) for rescue. Mixed captions trilled; some called for rescue, some remorseful over rejecting Natasha in recent pasts, others expressed anger and displeasure over her ordeals.
Some of the captions read “Natasha we know we have sinned against you but we need you at the moment”; “where is our Amazon?”; “Some leaders only know how to fight Natasha Akpoti but to claim their father land is impossible”; “We need Natasha Akpoti on this fight”; “Senator Oseni this fight is yours not Amazon”; She is a Russian, she is a woman, she can’t lead us, now we need her to come and fight for Ebira land, shame!”; a lion that cannot protect his father land will be used as goat in Another man’s land, I am hopeful one day a great soul Natasha Akpoti will rule our land”; now they know the golden daughter is not a Russian but Anebira”.
No doubt, these are not unconnected to the dose of insults, assault,, attacks, persecution, and humiliation Natasha was made to face in a bid to liberate the Kogi Central (Ebira) people from sufferings and pains. The same people she was fighting for were turned against her by the APC Yahaya Bello-led Government. Against all Natasha’s call for liberation, the people were denied one of the brightest chance they ever had to elect the best to represent them in the Senate.
History will forever have it that the 2019 Kogi Central Senatorial contest was nothing but a clear battle between a powerful darkness and a struggling light. From a third force SDP in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti defeated the incumbent PDP Candidate and the anointed APC Candidate through a historical political campaign movement centred on social justice and economic development across Kogi State. Unfortunately the will of the masses got shortchanged by the powers that be. Worthy to note that same powers prevailed in the November 2019 Kogi Gubernatorial election.
Days to the Governor election, by a whisker, Natasha escaped death in the hands of armed thugs closely associated with Governor Bello and APC. On the election day, the Ebira majority sold out their daughter for token and intimidation. The rejected Natasha was forced to a choice between standing alone in truth and/or joining the bandwagon of falsehood. But she never seems to have settled for the former.
How time flies and memory fades that the same Natasha Akpoti is to be the saviour on the same land of rejection and persecution? With which authority or from which office will Natasha operates in this capacity the Ebiras wants her?
It was Martin Luther King who said “there comes a time when people get tired of being trampled by the iron feet of oppression. There comes a time my friends, when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation, where they experience the bleakness of nagging despair. There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November. There comes a time.”
We must be reminded that Natasha is not a machine. Natasha is human like any other Ebira. She is a passionate daughter who simply wants the best for her people. Not just her people but the generality of Kogites and Nigerians.
Too late to cry when the head is off. If Ebira people would understand that a time like this could come, then they shouldn’t be convinced to put in an intelligent, outspoken, charismatic, courageous person to represent them against all forms of sentiment or intimidation.
I hope the Ebiras would have learnt their lessons while making a way out of this trial.
10 ex-governors linked with £56m properties in UK – Report
There is a fresh report linking 10 former Nigerian governors to properties worth £56 million (about N30billion) in the United Kingdom.
The report on illicit financial flow (IFF) from Nigeria to the UK and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also showed 216 properties were owned by 13 Nigerian law enforcement officers in the UAE.
The report, according to SaharaReporters, was presented at a media roundtable organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation.
Neither the identities of the former governors nor the venue of the roundtable was disclosed.
A don at the Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK, Dr. Gbenga Oduntan, presented the report titled, “Fixing Nigeria’s Illicit Financial Flows: A Critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices.
Commenting on the report, Chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said funds stolen from Nigeria and taken to the UK and UAE were mind-boggling.
He noted that both countries have become enablers of illicit funds and stressed the need to challenge external collaborators aiding the flow of illicit funds out of Nigeria.
“We should make it difficult for people to take out the proceeds of crimes,” he said, adding that the UK and UAE should protect their systems from “those toxic resources.”
The HEDA chairman further noted that while over $50 billion is lost annually to IFF in Africa; Nigeria retains the lead among other African countries in the menace.
Stakeholders have however advocated for the creation of a tripartite anti-corruption task force for the three countries to stop the illicit financial flow.
Oduntan, who presented the research report, said apart from the huge amount of money illegally stashed abroad by politically exposed persons in Nigeria, $15bn alone is lost to tax evasion by multinationals in Nigeria.
In addition, he said there is heavy under-invoicing between Nigeria and the UK, adding that fixing Nigeria’s illicit financial flow would require the destination countries to collaborate with the country in shutting their systems against suspected proceeds of crimes.
He, however, lamented that this is not the case, saying, in UAE, findings showed that prosecution of money laundering cases was very low.
Age Does Not Matter, I Need a Man To Marry Me Please – Woman Begs on The Streets
A Woman identified as Lucy Chemotai has taken to the streets, to beg the men that she is due for marriage.
Currently, there are many debates that have been emerging concerning the scarcity of men for marriage.
Many people suggest that this could be as a result of the tough economy that is brought about by the pandemic.
According to Lucy Chemotai who is also known as Chepkam while in the street of Eldoret she wants any serious man irregardless of his status.
The woman surprised people saying that even if the man is broke she will be okay with him.
Furthermore, she said that age to her was just a number and any man who is 18 years and above could avail himself.
What do you think about this woman?
If You are interested in her kindly comments directly on our site and Identitfy yourself you might be lucky.
I Need Your Help Now Than Ever, Uzodimma seeks stakeholders’ support over insecurity
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has urged traditional rulers and other critical stakeholders to support government’s efforts aimed at tackling insecurity in the state.
The governor made the appeal in Owerri, yesterday, at the town hall meeting of the council of traditional rulers in the state on security issues.
Uzodimma, represented by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Paul Emeziem, also reiterated his commitment to ensure sustainable peace and unity in the state.
He said his determination to offer viable development and prosperity of the state would be unachievable without peace and security in the state, adding that he was not unmindful of handiwork of the enemies and oppositions to distract the government and make the state vulnerable.
He said: “No doubt, we are not sleeping over the security situation in our state but the government cannot do it alone. We need relevant information and support from the traditional rulers and other concerned Imo citizens to achieve results.
“We are also determined to support every effort that will ensure sustainable peace and unity of the state because without that, all the laudable vision and developmental programmes of the government would not be achieved.
“So, beyond what the government is doing in the areas of infrastructure, human capital development and so on, which are visible and commendable, there is need for us to join hands together to protect and safeguard the state and lives of the people.”
“We are under obligation as patriotic citizens to support the government to provide the desired dividends of democracy for our people and we are undaunted in the resolve to get Imo back on track for the general good of the people,” Emeziem added.
Earlier in his remark, His Royal Highness, Eze Emmanuel Okeke, Chairman, Imo State Community Policing, condemned the recent attacks in the state by suspected hoodlums.
He also backed the establishment of the security outfit called EbubeAgu by the South-East governors, expressing optimism that with support of the people, they would achieve the desired results.
He said: “We, the entire Ezes in the state, have vowed to partner with efforts that would bring to book those behind the dastardly and ungodly acts in our state.”
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