ADDRESS BY BARR. ABA EJEMBI (OCH’OGBLEGA), NATIONAL PRESIDENT, AKPA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (ACDA) AT THE EMERGENCY NATIONAL EXPANDED EXECUTIVE MEETING HELD AT HOTEL PAMARIS, BEHIND MOBIL FILLING STATION KANSHIO, MAKURDI, BENUE STATE ON SATURDAY 30TH OF NOVEMBER, 2013
I thank the Almighty God, the owner of our lives, for granting each and every one of us journey mercies to this meeting. I thank you all for making time out of your busy schedules to be able to attend this Emergency meeting despite the very short notice. This is a demonstration of your love for Akweya. I specially thank the Chairman, members of the Branch Executive Committee and all members of the Makurdi branch of the ACDA for agreeing to host us at very short notice.
Delegates, observers and friends of Akweya here present, I have called this Emergency meeting of the National Expanded Exco because of the very important and urgent issues that have come up requiring serious consideration and very quick decisions and actions to enable Akweya react appropriately for the realisation of maximum benefits for us and generations yet unborn. The two issues that I have placed for your esteemed consideration are:
1. Proposed Campus of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi in Akweya.
2. Clear and present danger in Odonto.
Proposed Campus of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi in Akweya
Dear delegates, I am sure most of you are already aware of the good news that through the effort and goodwill of the Senate President, Senator D.A.B. Mark, GCON, a son of Akweya, the University of Agriculture, Makurdi has resolved to situate a campus to host its newly established College of Medicine and College of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Akweya. The exact location is said to be between Omebe and Igbeji on the eastern flank of the Otukpo – Agila Road. The management of the University, accompanied by the Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Council, were in Igbeji in the Month of October, 2013 where they met with some Akweya elders to request for the land.
This is very good news to Akweya because it holds the promise of great benefits to Akweya. Some of the promises include access by our young ones to university education; access to employment by Akweya; the multiplier effect on the economy of Akweya; amongst many more. I will therefore, humbly request that Akweya at this meeting constitute a high powered delegation to express our gratitude to the Senate President for the consistent concern for the development of Akweya, including the Egbla-Adankari and Adim Bridges.
Delegates, I do believe that Akweya has learnt a few lessons from our engagement of the Dam establishment process in Akweya. One of the lessons, I believe, is that Akweya has not derived maximum benefits from the initial processes because of various personal and other interests that made it impossible for Akweya to build consensus around the advocacy by the ACDA. That lesson should guide our engagement of the University Campus process.
This is why, as part of the consensus building process, I have called this Emergency National Expanded Exco Meeting. Some other issues that have arisen from the engagement process is that the letter by the University to the Otukpo Local Government Council was copied to the Och’Otukpo. This suggests to me that the University assumes that Akweyaland is under the jurisdiction of the Och’Otukpo. This misconception needs to be immediately corrected for posterity sake. A second issue is that the National President has not been officially informed of this development by the Otukpo Local Government Council either through the Chairman or the Vice Chairman. Neither has the elders of Akweya ever contacted me on this issue and all that I have gathered on this issue so far has been through those who believe that this is wrong and that ACDA ought to take proactive steps in engaging the process. There are other issues.
After a careful consideration, I believe that we need a committee of academics, University administrators, lawyers and other bureaucrats to drive our process of engagement. I have therefore appointed a committee of 9 (nine) as follows:
1. Professor Egri Ejembi - Chairman
2. Dr. Ochinya Ojiji - Member
3. Dr. (Mrs) Vicky Ayuba - Member
4. Dr. Moses Egbe - Member
5. Dr. Ted Anyebe - Member
6. Mr. Ahola D. Ogeh - Member
7. Barr. Simon Anefu - Member
8. Mr. Oliver Adem - Member
9. Agbenyi S. Agbeny - Secretary
I expect that this meeting will give the committee its TOR.
Clear and present danger in Odonto
Dear delegates, observers and friends, Akweya is today confronted with a clear and present danger from the Odonto axis and by implication the whole of Akweya. You will recall that at the National Expanded Exco meeting and formal inauguration of the NEC of the Women’s Wing on 29th June, 2013 at Otukpo, I pointed out that:
The issue of our collective security has become more critical with recent activities of persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. The invasion of Agatu villages by these violent men left several persons dead. Several parts of Tiv land have been contending with this menace. The very recent cattle rustling at Okpoga by persons who were also suspected to be Fulani herdsmen is a clear signal that if we do not take steps to prepare to defend ourselves, we will be doing so at our peril. I have proposed that we take urgent steps to defend ourselves and I have appointed a committee to advise the NEC. The following are the members:
1. Mr. Abel Edebogi (CSP) - Chairman
2. WO1 Oluwa Ediba - Vice Chairman
3. Insp. Dan Akro - Member
4. CPO Odeh Igwu - Member
5. Mr. David Akpa Ejembi - Secretary
This position was taken after extensive consultation of some Akweya leaders. However, after stating this, I invited the National Expanded Executive Committee to deliberate on this issue. When this item was introduced, no zone or individual raised any issue and I allowed it to pass because it was obvious that we did not have sufficient consensus on this matter and knowing the possible huge financial implications, I allowed it to rest.
Today, 5 (five) months after, there are unconfirmed reports that the danger we earlier feared may be upon us sooner than we imagined. Today, the danger is more urgent. Akweya has to protect herself. We need to take a decision and the funding options open to us.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I know we all concerned about the development of our land and people. I thank all those who have in one way or the other been contributing their quota at different levels to achieve that desire. I am grateful to the Almighty in the last 2 (Two) years, Akweya has enjoyed the benefits of several development infrastructures. We must continue to pray and do our bits to ensure that more development come to Akweya. Most importantly, I urge you to note that without unity, we cannot achieve anything. Akweya must unite!
Thank you for your kind attention and may the Lord God Almighty imbue us with wisdom from above and the courage to take the decision as well as the action that will be in the best interest of Akweya.