The Onu of Itobe in Ofu Local Government Area, HRH Alhaji Salihu Adaji has appealed to the Kogi State Government to build a General hospital that will attend to the health needs of the ancient community.
Adaji made the appeal in Itobe on Friday at a Constituency town hall meeting organized by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in partnership with Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria, (INGRA).
The monarch who decried the absence of good health facilities and portable drinking water in Itobe lamented that, since Kogi State was created in 1991, his community has not benefited from the budgetary allocation on health.
He recalled that Itobe district was created since 1926 under the colonial administration, adding that, it still remains a mystery that the community which happens to be a connecting point to other parts of the country with it available natural resources has been abandoned to suffer for ages.
According to the revered Monarch in Kogi East, several appeals has been made for the uplifting of the health facilities in Itobe to a general hospital, and the provision of portable drinking water but all has not yielded result.
“My people are crying on daily basis because they need good health facilities to attend to their health needs. We have recorded many casualties because we don’t have good health facilities and portable water to drink. When we have serious cases on health, we are forced to rush to neighbouring Anyigba, Ajaokuta, even Lokoja. At times, before my people get there, things has gone the other way.
“It might interest all of you to know that there are six general hospital in Ugwolawo, Igala ogba and none in Itobe. The institution that will permit us to benefit does not exist. We want your organization to help us so that we can have a general hospital and portable drinking water for consumption.
Adaji also drew the attention of the organization on the deplorable condition of Itobe Niger bridge road. According to him, the community gathered that, the road was budgeted, awarded, money released by Government but nothing has been done.
He explained that, during raining season, some part of Itobe township road is usually cut off, thereby, making life unbearable for the people in the community.
“We were told that the Itobe Niger bridge road was captured in the budget, money allocated and later released. But unfortunately, nothing has been done up till this moment. Is it that the money was paid to a ghost? If really money has been paid and the contractor is not willing to do the road, let him/her return the money to the Government”.
While appreciating the performance of outgoing Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello for what he has done in Kogi State in the last eight years, Adaji charged the incoming administration led by Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo to consolidate on the achievement of his predicessor.
His words”We want to say a big congratulations to the successful tenure of Alhaji Yahaya Bello. He started well and he is ending well. Our prayers is that, the incoming administration will do more for the people of Kogi State”
In his paper presentation on “an over of 2023 approved Kogi State budget”, the Chairperson, Kogi State NGO network Ambassador Idris Ozovehe Muraina call on the incoming administration to capture the building of General Hospital and the construction of functional Government water in Itobe if supplementary budget is presented before the Kogi State House of Assembly.
” It is very worrisome and unfortunate that Itobe which happens to be an ancient community does not have portable drinking water, good township road, cottage or even general hospital.
” We are calling on the members representing Ofu constituency to make sure he lobby the executive to ensure when the supplementary budget comes, he should make sure this gets in for this people and not just it is reflected in the budget, funds should be released and implemented. Let us give this people opportunities to smile once again. They have long suffered without having the presence of Government within their community” he stated.
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Director of INGRA Mr Hamza Aliyu who was represented by the organization program Officer Ikechukwu Mpama disclosed that, INGRA is always at the forefront in interacting with people at the community level in a bid for them to enjoy true dividend of democracy.
He explained that, there have been a large gap between constituents and their elected representative, hence the need for the people to always engage their lawmakers both at the State and National Assembly.