My tears for Ogbadibo!
By AMEH COMRADE GODWIN
Since May 29, 1999 when Nigeria began to experience democratic rule, one would think that most places and cities would have been developed by now. But this is not the case in most parts of Benue State. During a recent trip to my country home Ogbadibo LGA of Benue State. Ogbadibo as an entity was carved out of the old Okpokwu LG in 1991, but are yet to dance to the tunes of dividend of democracy as in social amenities. According to Jerry Agada in his collection ‘Magic Year’, he methaphorically referred to Ogbadibo as the “towering giant between the south-west of the eastern flank” but sequel to my prejudistic experience in this jaunt, I concluded that “she is an abandoned dwarf born in the womb of the eminent”.
Ogbadibo, which comprises three communities (Otukpa, Orokam and Owukpa) with 13 wards can’t boast of a good road, water and even electricity. Tears of pain and shame trickled down my cheeks when I arrived Otukpa the seat of the locality at about 8pm. From what I witnessed; the difference between the place and the days of Noah was hardly noticeable, I nearly moved to tears when I moved towards the secretariat, the forest begging for attention along the path is wide enough to accommodate a lion, while it was possible to paddled a boat across the water in the pot-hole whining on the road. Although, the recent introduction of the ATM machine affords one the opportunity of traveling without huge physical cash, I was shocked when I asked for a nearby ATM only to be told that there was no ATM around.
Our elders say “a woman with broom in her hand should not gather dirt with hand”, so I wonder why the (the giant) Ogbadibo which produce prominent men like His Royal Highness, Agabaidu Elias Ekoyi Obekpa (Och’Idoma), former super eagles’ skipper Daniel Amokachi, Dr. Jerry Anthony Agada (former state minister of education), Chief Steve Lawani (current deputy governor of Benue state), Chief Isaac Odu (Ejekwote k’Idoma), Comrade Apeh Ugwu Boniface (Adewa1 of Ehaje), Usman Abubakar (Young Alhaji), Dr. Audu Ogbe (Former PDP Chairman) Bar. Apochi Boniface (SAN), Dr. S.G Idoko, Apeh Esther among others.
When I thought of whom to put the blame on, “the people or the state government”, I could hardly have an answer. From the regime of Aper Aku down to Akume and now Suswan, body care to spell out the plight of this abandoned home, but premonition held me close that “the drum beating for the masquerades to dance on top of the water is from the bottom of the water” where are they true sons and daughters of Ogbadibo?
As I moved on to Owukpa my country home, the story remained the same, development in the area is like fire burning on the rock, alas! I bemoaned the erosion of her numerous farm produce, the coal site at Ipole-Owukpa and Ibagba, the newly discovered oil at Eke-Akpa and the palm fruit kingdom at Udaburu that are crying for attention.
Ameh Comrade Godwin
Is the Permanent––Sec
Idoma Performing Artistes Association (iPAAS)