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Iyano Crises: witnesses bemoan lack of land to bury their dead

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Iyano Crises: witnesses bemoan lack of land to bury their dead

Itale, Abujaga and Iru accuse panel of biase

Witnesses at the ongoing public hearing on inquiry into the Iyano Community crises yesterday called on the Government to do something about the people of Aluaja whose kinsmen bodies are lying in the mortuary because they have no place to bury them.
They also prayed the panel to do the needful and ensure a quick resolution to the Iyano crises so they can return to their home for the next farming season as they have lost two seasons already to the crises.
Governor Yahaya Bello had inaugurated a 13-man panel of inquiry on the Iyano community crises in Ibaji Local Government area of the State with a mandate to come up with recommendations for lasting solution to the disputes.
It would be recalled that Aluaja community was alleged to have been raised down by arsonists on May 24th last year with the affected people rendered homeless
Speaking at the public hearing yesterday a former Counselor in Ibaji Local Government Honorable Lucky Apeh said not less than two dead bodies are in the mortuary for want of place to bury them.
He said the bodies of a paramount ruler, the Okpale Iyeni by name Ochawo Acholo and Enemene Ijoba are presently being preserved in a mortuary in Idah.
Apeh indicated that 8 other members of their communities were buried in borrowed lands where they have been taking refuge.
Another witnesses Geoffrey Egwemi asked the Government to help protect his life from those that massacred his Father and brother over the crises last year 06 April, 2015.
Egwemi alleged that the arsonists that raised down Aluaja community killed his father Paul Egwemi and his brother Raymond after their father testified in the court over the burning down of the entire community of Aluaja.
The young Egwemi maintained that the Aluaja people remained the original owners of Iyano adding that the settlers burned down their town and rendered the people homeless.
He likened the story to that of two women in the book of Kings who were claiming a baby after one killed her own baby during sleep.
He said when Solomon listened to their narratives he gave the baby to the woman who never wanted the baby to be shared saying she was having that motherly affection while the one who wanted the baby shared was condemned
He said the Aluaja did not carry out reprisals neither did they burned down any part of the community they are the true owners of the land.
Egwemi pleaded for protection as the same persons that killed his father and brother were still after him.
He said his own life has been at risk because the same.people are also after his life.
A Play right director for grandpa international Sierra Leone Inaju R. Inaju who is also a stakeholder from Aluaja said he had been at the open hearing from the very beginning.
He said the presentations from the Itali people validate that of the Aluaja as far as the kingship tussle is concerned.
“We have also heard from the boy whose father and brother were massacred because he went to testify for the Aluaja people sometime last year.
“The people of Aluaja had been sacked from their community for a very long time now and it is our fervent hope and believe that if this committee does not achieve anything else the Government would be able to assist the people of Aluaja to go back home.”
He said the Aluaja have been a peace-loving community and that is why since the sacking of the people they never bordered to carry out any reprisal attacks
“While we assure the Government that there would be no reprisal attacks we are also hoping that the Government would use every means at its disposal to come to the aid of the Aluaja people and help them to return especially now that the flood season would be over and it would be planting season again, we have.lost two seasons of planting. 
These people are living from hand to mouth depending on people begging for lands when in actual fact they have their own land
He commended Governor Bello for being the first Government to take the bull by the horn to sincerely look into the crises.
“The Government of Yahaya Bello has shown leadership and we applaud him beyond words for what he has done. 
“We have confidence in the chairman of this committee her reputation precedes her and we are hoping that at the end of this sitting justice would prevail peace would be achieved and there would be a final decision in this matter.”
According to him the matter is older than 50 years and keeps raising it’s ugly head every four or five years.
 “We are hoping that by the time this committee finishes this would be the last time the people of Aluaja would face any problem.”
Inaju observed that Iru and Abujaga have not appeared in the hearing, even as he appealed to them to come with whatever facts they have, whatever it is that has aggrieved them as the Government had stepped in and asking for documents entitling any side to the land.
He said it is imperative for them come before the panel present their documents, listen to the questions, answer them so that the third party which is now a neutral body; committee so that they can take a decision.
“We believe that whatever decision they are going to take would be in favour of Iyano and Abujaga living peacefully side by side.”
Meanwhile communities of Itale, Abujaga and Iru in Ibaji local government area of Kogi State have accused the panel of inquiry set up by the state to examine the Iyano-Ibaji crisis of being biased in their approach.
In a protest letter addressed to the governor and jointly signed by Chief Simon Davidson Egwuda (Attah Okakwu Iyano) and John Ameh (Attah Okakwu Abujaga), the communities demanded for removal of the panel chairman, Mrs Ayoade Folashde Arike and be replaced with another unbiased and “uncompromised person”.
“The information available to us reveals that the chairman of the committee has an arrangement with Aluaja people to decide the matter in their favour. That is why they started jubilating even before commencement of the committee’s sitting”, they alleged.
The communities also asked for the replacement of the Attah Igala’s representative on the panel with another person from the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
The communities also expressed concerns that the content of the letter of summon addressed its people by the panel sound forceful and threatening, especially the use of the phrase “You are hereby summon to appear before the panel…Therefore fail not at your peril”.
But reacting to the allegations, Chairman of the Panel, Mrs Ayoade Folashade Arike debunked the claims that the panel was taking side with any of the communities in disputes, assuring that members of the panel are people of integrity and would be fair to all.
She said it was too early for anyone to pre-empt the panel’s assignment, adding the committee was set up to restore lasting peace amongst the warring communities and not to witch hunt anybody.
He said the panel has about five stages to go through before coming up with its final report and make appropriate recommendations to the government for further action.
She said the committee after the public hearing would visit the affected communities on an on-the spot assessments and would also meet with the various community leaders in the cause of its assignment.
“What we are interested in as members of the panel is that we want peace restored to Ibaji. We are not interested in any particular party. We want peace in Iyano community”, she said.
On the content of the said summon letter, Mrs Ayoade explained that the letter was written in line with provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Law of the northern Nigeria and not meant to intimidate those invited as being misconstrued.

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FG flags off cash grant distribution to rural women, WLWD in Katsina

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FG flags off cash grant distribution to rural women, WLWD in Katsina

In its bid to cushion the effects of covid -19 pandemic across the country, the Federal Government has flagged off the distribution of cash grant to rural women/women with disabilities in Katsina.

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Managemen and Social Development SadiyaUmar-Farouk, performed the symbolic distribution of the cash along side the Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities Mr James David Lalu Thursday.
The minister indicated that the program which has over 6,700 beneficiaries drawn from all rural areas of the state also have over one-third of the number of women with various forms of disabilities.

“The cash grant of #20,000 each to the beneficiaries is expected to reduce the economic hardship and stabilize income base of the beneficiaries.”

The Executive Secretary while admonishing the beneficiaries in general and women with disabilities in particular, charged them to judiciously make use of the funds to improve their living standards.

Speaking further the NCPWD boss said the  kind gesture being extended to women with Disabilities by the Federal government is a welcome development.
He said it is expected that the programme will be of great benefit to over 5000 women with Disabilities across the country.
He therefore expressed  appreciation to the president and world Bank for keying into the lofty projects.

The Executive Secretary also expressed profound gratitude to the Minister for always ensuring that Persons with Disabilities are included in her scheme of things.

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Community leader advocates Joint Hunters, Community Policing synergy to check crime

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Community leader advocates Joint Hunters, Community Policing synergy to check crime

By Friday Idachaba

National President, Egume-Ome Descendants Union (EODU) Alhaji Mohamed Ibrahim Lawal, has called for synergy between local hunters and community policing with security agents as plausible community security strategy.

Lawal who made the call at the Annual General Meeting of the Union held at Community Comprehensive Secondary school, Egume in Dekina local government area on Thursday said the call had become necessary to curb the rising crime wave.

He pointed out that the current trend of kidnapping and armed robbery had not only discouraged indigenes and stakeholders from the area residing in other parts of the country from coming home.

This, according to him, is adversely affecting general development and investments in rural communities in the country putting the livelihood and econony of rural and Community dwellers in jeopardy.

The National President commended the constitution of Conflict Resolution Committee on Farmers/Fulani herdsmen by the community saying that it had restored confidence and peaceful coexistence among the Herdsmen and Farmers in the area.

Lawal attributed the inability of the Executive Council of the union to implement its 2020 budget to the overwhelming security challenges and Farmers/Herdsmen crisis.

He said, “We can get it right if we embrace the right attitude, norms and skills in building the moral and social aspects of the Community”.

Mr Sunday Maji, national Vice President of the Union in his contribution, attributed the rising social vices among the youths in the community to laziness and “get rich quick syndrome” along youths.

Maji called on parents to ensure regular check on their children band wards to monitor their activities as government would not hesitate to deal with anybody caught indulging in criminal activities. (NAN)

FDJ/

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BOT approves 9 new Caretaker committee members for ICDA

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BOT approves 9 new Caretaker committee members for ICDA


By Friday Idachaba

The Board of Trustees of Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA), has approved the appointment of nine more members to reposition the Caretaker Committee of the socio-cultural association for efficient service delivery.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by Dr Simeon Oyiguh and Mr David Ogwu, Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Trustees and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lokoja.

The statement said that nomination of the nine new members was aimed at fortifying the Interim National Caretaker Committee with the right personalities and capable hands to rijig the body for the task of repositioning Igala nation for a better tomorrow.

According to the statement, among the new nominees is Comrade Goodman Akwu, a Rights Activist, Ocholi Onoja, Yunusa Ilani and comrade Kabiru Tijani.

Others are Comrade Shitu Danjuma Jibrin, Prince Enema Sani Obaje, Barrister Ahmed Salifu, Comrade Emmanuel Omattah and Comrade Umar Oyibo.

The BOT however, called on the general public especially the Igala ethnic nationality to disregard the purported inauguration of a parallel Board of Trustees by some members of the defunct Executive Council led by Sadiq Amodu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the defunct EXCO was dissolved on June 15, by the Board of Trustees with the late Attah-Igala, Dr Micheal Idakwo Ameh-Oboni ll formally ratifying the dissolution.

The Royal Father also endorsed the constitution of a 20-member Interim National Working Committee to run the affairs of the formost socio-cultural association in the kingdom, the ICDA in the interim.

NAN further reports that with the injection of the nine new members, the Committee chaired by Chief Samuel Oyibo, the interim committee now has 29 members. (NAN)

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