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The much publicised and awaited "Ihima Youth Summit" organised by the Ihima Liberation Forum which was scheduled to hold on the 22nd day of Sepetember 2018, was yesterday disrupted by hoodlums suspected to be acting on the instruction of the Administrator of Okehi Local Government, Hon. Abdulraheem Ohiare.

The event which has the theme: "Exploiting Socio-economic and Political Potentials for Sustainable Development" was to take place at the premises of the iconic Ihima Community Secondary School, Obeiba. No sooner had guests and members of the public who started arriving the venue where settling down for the business of the day when these agents of underdevelopment and destruction numbering about 60, invaded the venue brandishing various weapons which resulted to the guests scampering for safety. The miscreants did not only take over the venue, they ensured that no single person was left, thereby bringing an abrupt end to the planned event.

As if that was not enough, the Administrator of the Okehi Local Government reportedly ordered for a crackdown on members of the forum beginning with the arrest of Mr. Amba Ihima at his residence in Oboroke. Mr Amba as at the time of the press statement is still under the detention of the Police.

We have it on good authority that the main purpose of disrupting the event and ordering for the arrest of the members is not unconnected with the believe that the forum is not in support of the administration of the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The ILF strongly condemns the action of these thugs and their sponsors. We see it as undemocratic act only witnessed in a dictatorial setting.

We also want to put it on record that even though members of ILF or the group as a whole holds the constitutional right to freedom of choice and association, Ihima Liberation Forum, contrary to the misinformation being peddled in Government quarters and the general public, is a non political association of well meaning youths of Ihima cutting across religions, political and clannish divides with a burning desire to take the gospel of peace and development to the nooks and crannies of Ihima land.

It is in furtherance of these objectives that the ILF organised the Ihima Youth Summit as a platform for discussing the peace and progress of Ihima community.

As a law abiding organisation, the forum on the 19th of September written to inform various stakeholders, particularly the security organisations of the planned event. The letter, which were duly acknowledged were addressed to the Administrator of Okehi Local Government, the Commisioner of Police in Kogi state, Okehi Police Area Commander and the Divisional Police Officer as well as the Director of State Security Services at Okehi Local Govt as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Indications that the Summit will be disrupted emerged after the submission of the letter informing the Local Government Administrator of the event when the District Security Officer of Okehi LGA, Mr. Yakubu Adams Oziganyi ordered the forum to submit all speeches that would be presented at the summit for vetting and approval as the government will not tolerate any speech critical of the government. Apart from the difficulty in getting the speeches from all the invited guests who were to come from different parts of the country, the ILF saw this as an affront and an attempt to intimidate the forum into oblivion.

We wish to put it on the record that the Ihima Youth Summit was not sponsored by any politician as may have been the fear of the Local and State Government. It is not a summit of political gatherings aimed at promoting any political party against the government. This however does not imply that the Summit cannot raise political awareness of Ihima Youth and encourage political participation amongst them so as to ensure that good governance is enthroned for the benefit off the entire Ihima community.

While we will not be deterred and or allowed to be intimidated in our quest to forge a better future for Ihima people, we urge all youths of Ihima extraction to go about their legitimate businesses in the face of mindless provocation by these agents of underdevelopment. The Ihima Liberation Forum is determined in its resolve to liberate Ihima from the shackles of political, economic and social underdevelopment by promoting peace and unity among the indigenes and inhabitants of Ihima.

The ILF uses this medium to call on our amiable Governor, His Excellency, Yahaya Bello to direct the immediate release of our members who are still in police detention in the aftermath of the botched Ihima Youth Summit.

Credits: Ebira Reporters

Thank you 
Abdullahi Maikasuwa Abduljabar
Ag. President ILF.
A coalition of youth groups from Kogi Central Senatorial district has berated the federal government’s long neglect of the dilapidated Okene – Lokoja highway.

Members of Coalition of Kogi State Elites (COKE) in Collaboration with the Kogi Central Excos of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) who embarked on a joint community project to manually sand-fill the badly damaged portions of the road today in Okene, described the situation as disappointing.

Comrade Abdul Rauf, president of COKE lamented the perennial negligence of the road by successive administrations in Nigeria.

Abdul Rauf wondered why a road that’s plied by tens of thousands of travellers to and from the federal capital territory, Abuja could be left unaddressed for so long.

"It is unfortunate that the Federal government has paid no heed to several appeals for the total rehabilitation of this all important road.

"For over a decade, this particular road has been listed among the capital project of our national budget but has never received significant attention from successive government".

Speaking on behalf of the Kogi Central Excos of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Comrade Isah Onimisi Babangida recalled the nightmare faced by motorists on the damaged portions of the highway, citing instances where travellers spent days on traffic gridlock around the area.

"There was an instance where Abuja and Lagos bound travellers spent about three days on this road. Traffic was on a standstill as all the escape routes within the township were over congested and completely blocked.

"It has been a horrible experience for the motorists since the rainy season began until the road recently received palliative measures from both Kogi State Government and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).

“The temporary repairs only provide relief for a short time as it is now an annual tradition during the rainy seasons when heavy downpours erode most part of the road due to poor drainage system.

A member of the group, Comrade Ismail M. Kabir wondered why in spite of the huge support enjoyed by President Muhammadu Buhari since his presidential ambition began in 2003 by the people of Kogi central district, no meaningful project has been brought to the zone.

"It is on record that President Muhammad Buhari has enjoyed undiluted support of the people of Kogi Central district since he began his presidential ambition in 2003.

"I think it is not too much to ask that the administration makes the federal roads passing through our community motorable for the multitude of Nigerians plying this route on daily basis. The adverse effect is already telling on the socioeconomic activities in the community”.

The group then called on lawmakers from the area to raise their voice in solidarity with the advocacy by raising motions in favour of total rehabilitation of the highway, saying all hands must be on deck until a permanent solution is proffered.

While acknowledging the recent palliative steps taken by the state government to ease traffic on the road, the group further called on Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to mount pressure on the Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Raji Fashola to declare a state of emergency on the road for its total rehabilitation ahead of the Yuletide period.

"We are approaching December and the road is already an eyesore. So we are calling on our governor to strongly appeal to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola to declare a state of emergency on this road to avoid a repeat of the usual gridlock motorists experience around here at such time of the year".
 

The Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Matthew Kolawole has assured that Governor Yahaya Bello would not delay assenting to the bill establishing a youth development commission in the state.

The speaker gave the assurance yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen at the advocacy roundtable dialogue on the bill in Abuja.
Hon. Kolawole who expressed optimism that the bill will see the light of the day said the governor has given youths opportunities to be actively engaged in running the affairs of the state by giving them key positions in his cabinet.
The speaker advised the youths to shun social vices and resist attempt to be used as thugs to wreck mayhem in the upcoming election and truncate democratic process in the country.
The sponsor of the bill, Hon. Ahmed Mohammed representing Ankpa 1 State Constituency, said the bill when it scales through would provide lasting solution to the problems of youth restiveness, create job opportunities and empower them to stimulate economic growth.
“The importance of this bill to the state government and the teeming youths of the state cannot be over emphasized. When assented to, it will develop and empower youths who will stimulate economic growth, create more jobs opportunities and boost on internally generated revenue, thereby making significant contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the state.

“It will reduce youth restiveness and social vices like armed robbery, kidnapping and prostitution”.
The lawmaker said the bill would bring about partnership between the state government and international donor agencies to fund youth development programmes in areas of capacity building, entrepreneurship, sports, agriculture and technology.
The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Eni Obi urged Kogi state government to fast track the passage of the bill, adding that the bill will give the youths the opportunities to contribute immensely to the development of the state.
Ene further maintained that the bill would help tackle the rising cases of unemployment in the state and give them a sense of responsility and commitment to the progress of the state.
Credit: Daily Trust
A Kogi based Non Governmental Organization, Tiny Beating Hearts Initiative (TBHI),  would soon launch an advocacy project aimed at reducing preterm – related issues in the state.


Founder/Executive Director of TBHI, Mrs Petra Akinti Onyegbule made this known in Lokoja, the state capital recently during an advocacy visit to the state ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Speaking in an address, Mrs Onyegbule said the nineteen northern states which Kogi State is a part, rank among the highest states in the country with prematurity – related births in Nigeria, thereby contributing to the issue highest in Africa and third highest in the world.

According to her, the issue of preterm babies have become very rampant in the society, as every now and then, women have complications from miscarriages among other issues, adding that the advocacy project is aimed at bringing all actors and other relevant key stakeholders to a round table for a discussion in order to proffer a lasting solution to the challenge of inadequate healthcare facilities for preemies in the state.

She noted that quality healthcare delivery ought to be made affordable for low income pregnant women to enable them have opportunity of getting treated in a conducive environment at little or no cost.

The Executive Director stated that the project when executed, would help address quality of medicare available to preemies born to low income earners who can rarely afford requisite medical attention for their preterm kids in private clinics.

In her words; “It is an issue that affects everyone, we all have a role to play. For us at Tiny Beating Hearts Initiative, we will continue to play our roles of supporting families that go through these horrendous experiences to ensure it doesn’t affect their mental well being.

“Existing efforts have been on by us as an NGO to ensure that these premature babies are given support and a chance to survive, we believe that miscarriages, issues of complications from pregnancy goes beyond medical institution and it is now a social problem that has become a part of us that needs the involvement of all.”

“Ministry of Women Affairs is a part of this advocacy launch. In our organization, we give relief materials to families of preterm babies, we monetize 20 cylinder oxygen for premature ones who live on oxygen.”

“Oxygen that can last 8hours is N3500, 24hours is N10,500 each day on oxygen, there are just a few families that can afford that daily, which leaves a huge hole on the pockets of these parents, this is why we are appealing for support,” she elucidated.

In her response, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Bolanle Ampitan while commending the founder for the initiative of championing neonatal related issues, expressed delight for the visit.
Mrs Ampitan said the ministry of women affairs which was established to render services to humanity was ready to work with as many organizations that are willing to render services to humanity in line with the ministry’s core objective.

According to the Commissioner, women that have threatening pregnancy that leads to premature baby delivery need to be properly educated in order to overcome ignorance capable of endangering their lives and that of their unborn children.

“We will definitely not hold back our support, I know how expensive it is to maintain premature babies and we will work with you as a ministry, as there is every need to help reach out to more women” the commissioner added.

In a related development, the Founder/Executive Director, Mrs Petra Akinti Onyegbule and her team visited Specialist Hospital, Lokoja where they donated neonatal items worth thousands of naira to the neonatal ward of the hospital, to be used strictly for preemies.
Speaking, Mrs. Agnes Olaoye who received the items on behalf of the matron of the ward expressed appreciation to TBHI team for the gesture and assured that the items would be judiciously used for the purpose intended.

The items donated are 5 packs of 24G IV Cannula, each pack containing 100 pcs of cannula, 3 packs of 5ml syringe, 5 packs of 2ml syringes, a dozen of 200ml bottles of methylated spirit, a pack of adhesive plaster, 2 bottles of 500ml Olive Oil, 10 hand sanitisers, 4 packs of Pampers Diapers, 5 450G of Hydrophylic Cotton BP and 4 packs of Latex Glove.

Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi state, says he is the ambassador of the youth in governance.

Femi Fanwo, media aide to Bello, quoted the governor as saying this in a statement on Friday.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the bill that reduced the age qualification to hold elective office in the country, the governor said it has given an opportunity for the Nigerian youth to be “more politically dynamic, daring and optimistic”.

“With the signing of the bill into law, Mr President has displayed unparalleled love for the youth of Nigeria. The law has opened the gates of opportunities for youth to participate more in politics,” the statement read.

“As the ambassador of the youth in governance, I know that having more youth in governance will lift our nation. The law does not push out the experienced, old people out of the political ring, but it gives the youth a political voice to be counted.

“My generation is grateful to Mr President for this historic law and we shall show that appreciation during the 2019 elections.”

Bello said in Kogi, he has given the youth opportunities to hold positions of responsibility.

He said though his cabinet is predominantly youthful, there are also experienced elderly people who have helped in guiding the youth to deliver good governance.

The governor who has been criticised on the way he handles governance, urged the youth to take advantage of the law and participate massively in political activities.

source: ebirareporters

It is so manifest and glaring, the participation of youths in immoderate consumption of alcohol/hard drugs and other substances to their body system, Unmindful of the concomitants of excessive alcohol and hard drugs consumption. Youths desires and gratification towards hard drugs/alcohol and other harmful substances which are identical to the task of damaging the brain and stopping it from working for evermore calls for dire interference in a plot to subdue this widespread consumption of hard drugs/alcohol and tobacco leaves in the society.

The disobliging thoughts that always ensnare youths on their said usefulness of these aforementioned substances have led to havoc and constitution of nuisance in our community. To all appearances, this ideology of “Drugs/Alcohol” is the solution to my problem has brought backwardness and retrogression to our educational system. Long before today youths had engrossed themselves in innovative discourse, today it is either baloney on the ground of hard drugs/alcohol and tobacco leaves for fulfillment, satisfaction or they boast on who consumes more.

They also convene the intrepidity to hurl contemptuousness at the inability of some youths to gladden the idea of hard drugs/alcohol for fulfillment, pleasure or whatever it brings. Hard drugs/alcohol and smoking of Indian hemp is never a thing to be proud of.

Drugs like “DIZZA, TUTOLIN, and TRAMADOL” just to mention a few have great effect on the lives of youths academically which can never be laid too much emphasis on. On the opinion of some drug users; they believe it brings their head in terms with the brain to think fair-mindedly which a false belief of a chronic addict. If the said reasons for taking it are realistic. Then it is ephemeral, and at the end of all it always leaves back casual end result after serving the intended purposes which often amounts to insanity. Large intake of hard drugs/alcohol and smoking of slice putrescent leaves wrapped in a translucent paper, have seriously damaged lives and properties, family, friends and colleagues in the society and country like Nigeria.

Psychologically, it has been proven that users of drugs/alcohol started with the aim of coping with stress and pain. In Kogi state and Nigeria at large today, the high patronage shops that sell these “killers” in disguise record on daily basis seems to be proliferating beyond expectation.
Psychological effect of Drugs/Alcohol:
1. Wild mood effect
2. Confusion
3. Psychological tolerance to drug effects arousing to do ever-increasingamount of alcohol/hard drugs,
That is the reason people still indulge in excessive intake of hard drugs/alcohol after immoral experience.

I am particularly not happy, as people living in Kogi central are also troubled by roguish activities of hard/alcoholic users; this has increasingly given rise to high number of mentally unbalanced youths.

Being a vibrant supporter of “NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN” I can’t fold arms like a bewildered on-looker to watch fellow youths destroy their lives and properties with the assistance of uncontrollable dosage of drugs/alcohol. How would the dream of “NOT TOO YOUNG TO RUN” ever come to actuality when youths have taken Drugs/alcohol as liberation?

This is a call to NDLEA, relevant stakeholders and other agency saddled with the responsibilities of curbing this act capable of stripping Nigeria off its remaining credibility.

Department of Document Review
Close Watch Media

Image Credits to: NAES, Ahmadu Bello University Chapter.
Content Credits: Ibrahim Ibrahim.
 
By Zacchaeus Ozovehe.
As Nigeria moves towards another round of general election, women and youths have been urged to partake in the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR), by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
 
The charge was given recently by the chairman of Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hajia Hassiat Suleiman during a ward meeting in Ihima.
Hajia Hassiat who noted that political apathy is unhealthy to the development of any society urged the youths and women who she described as being indispensable to obtain their Permanent Voters Card in order to make an informed choice.
 
“We must all contribute our quota for the success of this administration by obtaining our PVCs. Voting in an election is our civic responsibility and this is practically impossible without PVC”, she said.
 
While appreciating the women for their support for the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration, Hajia Hassiat affirmed that the state is on the path of socio-economic development through the visionary leadership qualities of the Governor.
 
She charged the people to be more focused and shun peddling of unfounded information about the government, noting that the era of reckless government shrouded in secrecy is over.

Credit: Kogireports.
 
By Stephen Adeleye.
 
As the 2019 general elections get closer, Mrs. Petra Onyegbule, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, has advised youths against offering themselves to be used as thugs by desperate politicians.
 
Onyegbule told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lokoja that youths should resist the temptation to be used as tools for destruction by politicians that would dump them thereafter.
“The youths must see themselves as tools of unity and development; they should be interested in a better tomorrow and be ready to plan for it.
 
“They must be able to detect evil from afar and resist it, no matter how it is coloured,” she said.
She reminded the youths that election was not war, pointing out that life would continue long after the elections were gone.
 
Onyegbule said that Kogi had become a model in youth participation in governance, saying that youths constituted a majority in Bello’s cabinet.
 
The media aide challenged other governors to emulate the Kogi example by engaging more youths in leadership, noting that the youths had the zeal, zest and the know-how to get the right things done appropriately.
 
Onyegbule urged public support for efforts to stamp out corruption and insecurity so that Nigeria can become a save haven for investments.
 
“With massive investments into the country, there will be jobs and youths will be positively engaged,” she said.
(NAN)
Natasha Hadiza Akpoti

The residential house of Barr. Natasha Hadiza Akpoti was yesterday the *18th of March 2018* gripped by a surprise visit of crowed under different agitation umbrella to solicit her towards serving the people in the 2019 political dispensation.

This is coming nearly two weeks after groups of women converged under the unbrella of Women Initiative for Natasha (WIN) to mark the 2018 International women's day and unanimously put a clarion call to Natasha to stand for her people in the forthcoming general elections.
Leading the groups was an Youth body called Youth Coalition for Akpoti Natasha (YOUCAN) and had among others the following groups present;
  1. Coalition 4 Credible Choice in Kogi central.
  2. Women Initiative for Natasha
  3. Natasha Akpoti Support Foundation.
  4. Ebira Prayer Group
  5. Ebira Youth Vanguard of Nigeria.
  6. EYPA
  7. ODU, Abuja
  8. Coalition 4 Change
  9. IVA Abuja
  10. Ebira Avuvobe Youth Association.
  11. Natasha Akpoti Solidarity Movement. etc.

After the opening prayer by Elder Abdulraheem Sumaila, a minute silence was observed in honor of the late humanitarian icon Dr. Jimoh Akpoti who was eulogized as a hero who begot another hero. In his opening address, the spokesman of the coalition, Mr. Patrick stated that their visit and solicitation to Natasha was born out of the inspirations gotten from her uncommon courage for humanitarian services. "None like Natasha in this era as long as selfless leadership is concern. She has demonstrated that to the core". People out there are waiting for us to unveil the good news to them by presenting Natasha Akpoti to step up her leadership stewardship in the political stream of new ideologies comes 2019. Mr. Patrick stated.

Other speakers also stressed the need for Natasha to answer the people's call and take the usual bold step to lead her people to greatness. Mr. Looth in his address said "we need leaders who has the capacity to deliver and Natasha has proven worthy without doubt. She is a bundle of joy to any community, any region or any nation who has her as a leader. We have come to solicit you to come and stand for us and the Nigerian people. Don't turn us down because we are ready to work with you to victory God's willing. In the same line, Mr. Patrick insisted that every genius like Natasha must be encouraged to take position of authority in other to materialize his or her dream for the society. "We can't allow your rare leadership qualities to waste in talking but you must clinch the power and use it to better the life of the people you so much love and fight for".

The president of Ebira Avuvobe Youth Association, Cmr. Mustapha Obosi alongside the Coordinator for Women Initiative for Natasha, Hajiya Sabihat added their voices to reinstate their call on Natasha to step into political leadership as they assured her of unalloyed supports come what may.
In her response, Natasha Akpoti thanked the coalition for finding her so worthy of the call. She took time to speak about her struggle and the reasons for her kind of passion and drive. "All I do are due to the people; Ebira, Kogi and Nigeria at large. All my inspirations are due to the lessons I learnt from my late father who thought me what humanity means. My father was a beneficiary of people's support in the course of his scholarship to study abroad back then and until his death, he vowed to live and die for humanity. Because he believed that he is nothing if his neighbor is nothing and hence he must help them to be something.

While responding to the call to serve in political capacity, Natasha stated that great men of the world like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many others were never career politicians when they brought about changes to their lands. She however opined that if power is in the right hands, journey of 20years could be cut down to just a year. "In as much as I appreciate the calls I receive from different groups and individuals to come into politics, I must be frank to ask you that are you ready? Knowing well that what you are asking me for is a heavy weight and we must be sure that our mind is strongly made towards it. You all know what I stand for in my life; purposefulness, Bottom-top growth, Inclusivenss, no sentiment, no discrimination, no compromise on the truth. This is me and I will ask again that are you ready? Natasha added.

She went further to say that the people calling her must first be ready to play politics with a new mindset and shun the old order. "I must be sure that am going to work with people of different mindset who are ready to stand by the truth for whatsoever it may cost them. That is the spirit that have taken us this far. Not money or charms but truth. At the same time, our people say "the people behind a masquerade are the the strength of the masquerade". I must see that spirit in us if we are going to embark on this journey. I must equally state clearly that with or without political position, I, Natasha Akpoti shall do my best for the people till I die. That is a resolution i have made for myself. Once again I appreciate you all so much and I plead that you give me some times to revisit my plans and get back to you. As you all know the struggle is a whole lot and we must give it absolute focus. I want to appeal that we all shun politics of bitterness. Whether you are APC or PDP, what matters is development that touches the life of the people. Poverty and joblessness do not know party, clan or region and that is the basis of my fight for the revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company and other local industries in Nigeria.

Other group's representative who spoke at the meeting emphasized on the need to change the orientation of people against clannish and gender chauvinism and rally round Natasha for a new Ebira land, Kogi state and Nigeria. They equally advocated for unusual change in a good way. The group leader for Natasha Akpoti Solidarity Movement, Mrs. Jane Ahmed Enehe urged for the collection of PVC by every member and the need for more grassroot mobilization. "We must take this journey with great heart because we are not helping her rather we are helping ourselves. The time has come that we woo good people into elective positions to avoid our past mistakes. If politics is dirty then let us join good people like Natasha to clean it. If we continue to destest good people going into politics, it means the bad ones will always have it at ease" she concluded. Closing prayer was made and the meeting was brought to an end as signatures were collated by group representatives.
Hamza Lamisi

The leadership of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Kogi Central Chapter has condemned the attacks on some politicians in the area lat weekend.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Comrade Isah Babangida, NYCN commended Governor Yahaya Bello for his quick intervention to douse the rising tension in Kogi central.

Babangida described the attacks as “barbaric and alien to 21st century politicking”.
“We must commend the quick response of security agencies who, to a large extent, averted a major crisis.

“We equally commend the youthful governor for quickly setting up the peace and reconciliatory movement led by Hon. Abubakar Ohere. This singular act shows that Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration is devoid of sentiments and partisanship and have stretched hands of bortherhood across party lines. The Governor has once again shown that he is a leader to all and irrespective of party affiliation, he is willing and ready to secure the life and property of all citizens.

“We also appreciate the maturity displayed by Hon. Abubakar Ohere and his team during the visits. They have indeed cleared the air and boosted the confidence of the victims by assuring them that efforts are been made to ensure that whoever is involved in this barbaric act will be made to face the law.

“The people of Kogi Central, especially the youths, have suffered so much in the past with gory memories and as a youth body, we do not want to see the dark days ever again. While we acknowledge, from our observation yesterday, that the strongest souls have emerged in the New Direction Government, for this reason we must keep faith and maintain peace without which we cannot enjoy the dividends of democracy. This is why we applaud the way and manner Hon Abubakar Ohere led delegation have carried out the peace and reconciliatory move, making stops at the homes of the affected victims and to have a clear on the spot analysis of the extent of damages done to their properties and the victims were compensated.

“The victims who also put aside bruised ego and their pains commended the peace move and described it as a welcome development,” he said.

Babangida called on all the youths in Kogi central to come together and work for the collective interest of all instead of apportioning blames or fanning the embers of war. He also advised the youth to always take effective steps to quench anticipated crisis instead of running to social media to further provoke the impulse of the victims as nobody stands to benefit from any crisis.
The Ebira Youth Elites Organisation of Nigeria, (EYEN) has warned politicians not to plunge the state into a blood bed even as it noted with dismay, the growing resort to brigandage and the recent attempts to prime youths to self-destruct. 


In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the group’s president, Yunusa Jimoh, the community based organization said Kogi is a Confluence of Peace, not of blood. 

The statement comes after last weekend’s reign of terror unleashed on some parts of Kogi state, especially Ebira land by youths suspected to be political thugs. 

It also condemned “the violent attacks and reported counter-attack on political opponents and wish to refresh our memories to the not-so-recent past when we had a terrible war of attrition among brothers. That dark period, no doubt, set us back for several decades”. 

Part of the statement reads; “While some few altruistic youths are daily racking their brains, networking and rallying forces to draw attention to the long-neglected Ajaokuta Steel Company, it is shameful that some members of the political class who have lost their voices as regards this noble national endeavour are now trying to come back to political reckoning by using as a launchpad, crude underhand tactics, including violence just in the lead-up to the 2019 General Elections. 
“In case our politicians have forgotten or do not know, may we kindly remind them that even in Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, there are still several opposition parties and for them, the sky is big enough for each one to pursue its legitimate aspirations. 

“Ours is a Confluence of Peace, not of blood. As we approach a crucial election year, partisans must play by the rules and avoid this gradual descent into anarchy or a return to the dark days of organized terror and thuggery. 

“We make bold to say that an eye for an eye would soon make all of us go blind. “From our research, poverty and drug abuse are at the root of the wave of violence that is threatening to engulf the land. While we urge the political class to do more to stem the rising tide of poverty in the land, we call on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other security agencies in the state to devise workable mechanisms of tracking the suppliers and sellers of these hard drugs. 

“We also call on security agencies who are saddled with the onerous task of maintaining law and order to act on actionable intelligence at their disposal to rein in the forces of terror in our land. 

“EYEN also commend those who have intervened and helped in putting an end to the impending disaster, among who is the Governor of Kogi State Alh. Yahaya Bello and his intervention team led by Engr. Abubakar Ohere. We implore all that are affected to adhere to wise counsel as we pray God to continue to sustain his peace in our hearts, our homes and in our community. 

“EYEN sympathizes with the injured and those whose properties were destroyed. We urge them not to make a resort to the use of brute force by trying to retaliate. 

“We certainly do not want a day whereby few forces of evil would reduce Ebiraland to a Hobbesian state where life would become hellish, nasty, brutish and short. May that day never come."
Ebira Youth Congress (EYC) has observed with utter dismay and grave concern, the gradual but imminent relapse of Ebiraland into the horrible state of yesterday, if nothing sincere and concerted is made at arresting the situation. The inordinate desires of some Ebira politicians snowballed Ebiraland into theaters of war some years ago. Our land and its people are yet to fully recover from the politically induced orgies of blood baths and the wars of immolation between 2007 and 2009. 

EYC can't forget the massive loss of lives, destruction of properties and sacking of communities that resulted from that dark era. 

We are distressed by the sudden, repulsive and highly questionable stoppage of a planned reception for the retirement of a highly revered elder statesman, Justice Moses Bello, from active service; the disruption of Senator Ogembe’s empowerment programme and its concomitant damaging effects on the properties and business of Afims Hotels; the reportedly unprovoked attacks on elements of opposition parties across Okehi L. G. A.; the desecration of Ebira tradition and the resultant death of the tortured night masquerade custodian, Mr, Akobe- all in a couple of days back. These unfortunate events are too grave to be dismissed!

Patriotic minds are worried and wondering why some progrmames identified with certain persons or groups have been cancelled abruptly on security ground, many others are allowed in the same space and time. WHY THE SELECTIVE TREATMENTS BY OUR GOVERNMENT AND MEN OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY? For example, while the well-planned reception for Justice Moses Bello was stopped by the soldiers who stormed his residence a few hours to the event, a high profile marriage ceremony, and a religious programme organized by an appointee of the State government took place the same day in the land. Are the men of the Nigerian Army using different rules of operation for different persons in Ebiraland? Or are the soldiers meddling in partisan matters in Ebiraland? 

It is interesting to note that after similar cancellation of the highly and painstakingly planned fiftieth anniversary ceremony of Ebira Peoples Association (EPA), the apex and umbrella sociocultural body of the Ebira Tao nation; several gatherings/political rallies and cozy ceremonies by certain persons have been held in Ebiraland without the men of Nigerian Army or any security operatives stopping them. We make bold to say that it is a constitutional responsibility of the Kogi State government and the Local Government Councils to provide security for all in Ebiraland to carry out their lawful activities without intimidation, harassment and attacks as being witnessed in the land today.         

As a matter of fact, it amounts to an outright indictment on the State government that patriotic citizens are forced to put off their legitimate events on grounds of security.

This, to a very large extent, brings to question claims by government of being on top of security in Ebiraland. We are disturbed that over five serving and retired high court judges, retired military Generals, business moguls and other senior citizens of Nigeria who had arrived Ebiraland for the Justice Moses’s reception were unfortunately forced back with a very negative impression that our land is not a safe place  for visits and by extension, business. Every sincere mind can imagine the socioeconomic implications of this negative picture being inadvertently created of our land before the whole world!   
     
We call on the security agencies to sincerely investigate these security breaches and infringements on freedom of association. We urge the security agencies to be proactive and protect ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS before they cave in to the temptation of resorting to the unlawful act of self-help. 

We call on well-meaning Anebiras to rise to preserve the relative peace we have been enjoying in recent times. This is not the time for silence- we all owe it a duty to save Ebira from this fast regression to the miseries of yesterday! 

His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State, must not allow some of his overzealous aides and hangers-on to squander the goodwill of his pride divine mandate. “A government that is favoured by God and loved by the people” does not need coercion to succeed.
 A stich in time saves nine!

Signed:
Baba Abdulrazak,
President-General.
Ebira youths under the auspices of the Ebira Youths Confess (EYC)  have commiserated with the leadership and men of the Nigerian Army on the loss of a soldier who died in the mission to rescue Momoh Otinau, the oil mogul kidnapped by gunmen.

The soldier whose name was withheld reportedly died in a gun battle with the kidnappers on Tuesday. 
In a press statement signed by the President of EYC, Sule Zuberu, the youths expressed sadness that one of Nigeria's gallant soldiers was brought down by those they described as the enemies of the land. 

The statement reads: "Aside the huge sacrifices being made to keep the territorial integrity of our nation, the Nigerian soldiers have commendably provided support base for the management of  internal security tension.
"It is indeed a moment of grief for not just the Nigerian Army but the entire well-meaning  Nigerians. Our heart-felt condolences go to the immediate family and loved ones of our fallen hero.  

"We urge our gallant men of the Nigerian Army not to wear a dampened spirit by this sad event as we believe that their sacrifices for the nation will not go unrewarded."

While the congress assured the Nigerian Army of their support, they also called for professionalism in its handling of the current security tension in the land. 
"Reports emanating from several quarters are that several indiscriminate arrest and torture are being unleashed on members of the public in Ebiraland. Such reactionary situation must be avoided as it only poses another form of insecurity in the land, no matter how temporal it maybe. 

"While we remain supportive of the total round-up of the perpetrators of nefarious crimes and their accomplices in the land, innocent citizens should not be punished for crimes they did not commit. Such a development may further compound the challenge at hand," the statement added. 
The 2018 Nigeria Youth Peace Conference, organise by Peace Ambassador Agency with the theme, "The role of Nigeria youth, security agencies, media and religious leaders in the forthcoming election" and scheduled to hold in March at Barcelona hotel Abuja is aimed at delivering top notch peace education and enlightenment campaign to Nigerian youth while also efficiently engaging stakeholders in the peace building process.

The event which is in its 3rd edition wants Nigerian youths to grasp and understand the political intrigues, permutations and facts about the country for future benefit.

According to the organiser, Kingsley Amafibe, the youths make up over 60 per cent of the electorate; hence they participate actively in the politics of electing their leaders and representatives in government.


"The apparent reality is that we are yet to arrive at an acceptable standard where the youth (electorate) can confidently say that their votes will count. There are obvious problems which require the concerted efforts of the politicians (and their respective political parties), the electorate (the youths) and INEC to address in other to achieve this.

'In full consideration of important factors, the youths are a relevant determinant in all elections and the subsequent ones. The political phenomenon in Nigeria is absolutely disheartening. Electoral body, INEC, and the youths, though it should be correctly noted and pointed out that the mindset of the youths is affected greatly by the influences of the politicians and INEC.

"The future of Nigeria is shaped by the calibre of youths who participate in the politics of the country. I met a concerned senior citizen who explained to me without mincing words that the most qualified youths who are worthy to serve and lead the citizenry in governance of Nigeria are emigrating at an alarming rate,' he explained.