The Omi Ny’Igede Development Association, the socio-cultural body of people of Igede extraction in Benue State, has called on the state government and the committee on boundaries to expedite action on boundary demarcation between the peoples of Ukpute in Oju and Bonta in Konshisha for lasting peace to reign in the area.
The association, in a communiqué issued after its recent delegate conference and summit, also called on the government at all levels to come to the aid of Igede people by constructing the roads linking several communities in the area.
These, it stated, included the Otukpo-Oju Cross River, Oju Awaji road and Alaide-Itogo-Obarike Ito road among others, stressing that the roads had become death traps and very dangerous to be plied by the people.
“The summit considered the existing political positions in Benue State and resolved to negotiate for the position of the governor of Benue State in the 2023 elections.
“Towards realising the noble project, the summit called on all Igede sons and daughters to sustain the true Igede identity, be united in ambition, and pursue the desire for the position collectively in all ramifications.
“Those interested should indicate their interest to the leadership of Igede people. The summit on behalf of the Igede nation, appeals on this note to our Tiv and Idoma brethren to align with Igede in the project,” it stressed.
It added: that the summit expressed with dismay, the current marginalisation of Igede people in the state, where political positions had been shared and committees composed with no consideration to Igede extraction.
This development, it added, was unlike in the First Republic in Benue State, where an Igede indigene made it to Northern House of Assembly in Kaduna.
It noted that in the Second Republic, under NPN in Benue State, an Igede man was an Ambassador to France, while with the return of democracy in 1999, an Igede was considered for the position of Deputy Governor and later Deputy Speaker.
“The summit called on the current political class to go into politics with a beneficial agenda for the Igede nation.
“Delegates across the country that attended the summit pledged their loyalty and support to Igede aspiration and promised to mobilise their members’ home come the 2023 general elections for positive change,” it added.
The summit expressed dissatisfaction with most political office holders, party leaders and those who had been enjoying positions meant for Igede people, but had not been honouring calls from Omi Ny’Igede, the socio cultural umbrella of Igede people and Igede Intermediate Traditional Council.
“The summit resolved to go on air and denounce those who are too big to answer calls of their mother land henceforth.
“The summit expressed disappointment on the Igede politicians who are trying to impose unpopular leadership of Igede youths on the people for their personal interests, after several warnings from Igede Intermediate Traditional Council.
“The summit vowed to publicly expose them if they do not retract their ugly steps as this is capable of causing division among Igede people.
“The summit condemned in strong terms the rising wave of insecurity in Igede land with particular reference to kidnapping, cultism, burglary, Fulani herdsmen invasion.
“It charged all stakeholders, particularly the security agencies and the traditional leaders who are closer to the people to be cautious and responsive towards sustaining a peaceful environment.”
The communiqué was signed by Dr. Ihie Eru, Committee Chairman (Oju Branch); Comr. Augustine Omanjogo, Committee Secretary, (National Secretariat); Linus Macdonor Odeh, Member (Obi Branch) and Jolly Egbodo, Member (Lagos Secretary).