The Ibaji Local Government Area Secretariat in Onyedega community, Kogi State, is presently unkempt and overgrown with weeds as the LGA Chairman, Williams Iko-Ojo, has refused to work from the building.
The LGA workers told SaharaReporters that the structure had been abandoned since 2014 due to the bad road connecting the community to other areas and seasonal floods.
The workers noted that the LGA Chairman had been operating from Idah LGA, a neighbouring community which is about one hour drive away.
“Youths during a political riot in 201 burnt down the old secretariat, but the government built a new one around 2014. But the secretariat has been abandoned since then.
“We have a liaison office in Idah LGA and that is where the LGA chairman operates from. There is no activity in this place. It is both deserted and overgrown with weeds. Our people are stressed having to go to faraway Idah because they can have any contact with their LGA office,” one of the workers noted.
SaharaReporters learnt that the Ibaji Prorgessive Youth Foundation, one of the foremost groups representing the people, had written a protest letter to the LGA chairman, demanding that he operate from their community and feel their pains.
The letter titled, “Demand to Relocate Ibaji Liaison office back to Ibaji LGA Headquarters – Onyedega,” was signed by the IPYF National President, Comrade Apeh Kelvin and the General Secretary, Linus Egwu.
It partly reads, “It is a common knowledge that Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly defines a Local Government and its role in development. Needless to say, part of the rationale for creating it is to address economic issues at the grassroots and to ensure the development of the area.
“In the earlier letter addressed to your office, the IPYF demanded the relocation of the liaison office from Idah back to Ibaji, and also gave a timeline of a month to perfect this relocation; we also stated that failure to do so within the stipulated time, would leave us no other option but to follow the due process of redress in the law court.
“We write to notify you that we shall be commencing a court action against you and your office on February 15, for denying the people of Ibaji their constitutional rights to fair political representation and access to economic opportunities, by shutting down all crucial local government offices in Ibaji Local Government Area, Onyedega, and unconscionably relocating same to Idah for no justifiable reason or reasons as the case maybe.”