> By Ojonimi Ochune.
> Kogi East is no doubt eager and yearning for Development. It has suffered perpetually and perennially from the scourge of underdevelopment. It has from the pre colonial and post colonial to Independent era had never witness index of development that will uplift the people from the incidence of abject poverty.
> Although subsequent governments have tried within their capacities to imprint their names in the hearts of the people with projects and programmes that could be considered poverty alleviation, their efforts were not superlative to move the zone into a modern state.
> The zone, which headquarters is Idah, the cradle of their civilization has lagged behind in all aspect of modernity. Idah, as the name implies " The struggle of migration has ended." That is to say the struggle to have a kingdom of their own which drove them from the historical kwararafa , in the present day wukari in Taraba state was to end at Idah for its river locked nature. They have to resign to fate at Idah against the impending onslaught of the Jukuns Armies.
> However, the emerging Igala Kingdom prevailed , but the location of Idah which is bounded by rivers Niger to Agenebode in the west and River Anambra to the East have affected the socio economic transformation of the people of Idah and her environs.
> Several attempts to fight the course of nature by constructing a bridge across the Niger that will llink them with their kits in Agenebode , although in Edo state, has suffered perpetual setback.
> Idah with a growing population of over 80,000 people who are mainly farmers, artisans and business men and women hardly have access to their neighbours in the South south and southn Eastern states because of the natural barriers of these two most important rivers.
> In the late 60s and early 70s , efforts to open up this axis for the enhancement of socio-economic activities of the people by deploying Ferries on the Niger to move people and goods from Idah to Agenebode with initial success has to be abandoned by the uncompromising economic realities of the times.
> Attempt were also made to bring in the much touted private sector participation to construct the bridge, however, it always ended in the conception stage as the people including their monarchs represented by the president Kogi Traditional Area Council and Chairman Igala Traditional Area Council HRM Michael Ameh Oboni 11 have laboured in vain to get either the Federal Government or the State government to act positively to construct the bridge.
> Idah , with the Federal Polytechnics, College of Health Science and other federal establishments in the domain would have naturally been epicentre for development, but the barriers of the rivers and the disingenuous nature of the previous administrations, it has remained only in name.
> No wonder, His Royal Majesty Atta Ameh Michael Oboni, has to devise a pragmatic approach to curry favours from the governments at the centre and the state by giving them maximum support to deliver dividend of democracy to his people.
> The Royal Father has not hid the support of his people to the government, believing that governments are actually being constituted by the Almighty God who gives power to whom he want and when and where he gives to.
> His actions and activities which is considered germaine by those who loves the kingdom and her people , though , as expected, some cynics who are still behind the modern politicking, kept to their chagrin deriding the laudable projection of the kigdom by the Agabaidu.
> Metaphorically, the present administration of Yahaya Bello who is considered to be by the " Act of God" and Child of Circumstances, has kept the Eastern Zone to his chest. Bello ably assisted by his Siamese twins Chief Edward Onoja have demonstrated uncommon love for the kingdom, both in words and practice. He knew the strength of the zone in an election and he has never toyed with the advantage.
> He has executed and still executing projects and programmes in the zone which is second to none of the zones an action that has made him the bride of the zone, despite, some opposition parties who are fielding their governorship candidates from the zone.
> To confirm his love for the the Igala Kingdom and her headquarters Idah, the governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello and his Deputy Chief Edward Onoja, chose Idah, to flag of their APC campaign rally. The entire Idah township and her adjoining villages stood still for the event. Men and women , young and the elderly in their thousands thronged to both the Attah palace and the Stephen Achema township stadium venues of the lined up ceremonies.
> Meanwhile , Governor Bello, Onoja, and the SSG Dr. Folashade Ayoade Arike were corronated by Attah and his Council of Chiefs with highest honours of the kingdom to show appreciation to the government by the people of the zone.
> > Elated by the show of love and support of the people for his administration, Governor Yahaya Bello could not delay a bit to release the long awaited good news to the people. The governor , who could not hide his disdain for the impediments to the growth of commerce, industry and social interaction that existed between the people of Igala and Agenebode kingdoms , said , his government will stop at nothing to see that the people are connected to the people on the other side of the river Niger.
> While performing the flag off ceremony on Saturday 26, October, 2019 at the river Niger bank at Idsh, he disclosed that he has secured a reliable private partner that will construct the bridge to uplift the socio economic lives of the people.
> He added that the multi billions naira bridge project will be given accelerated attention as all hands will be on deck to ensure its speedy completion.
> He stressed that, the people of the deserves the best of lives which the construction of the bridge will help to achieve would not be treated as a Political gimmicks, but rather demand full support in the forthcoming governorship election.
> He noted that he has carefully selected based on track performance records of the contractors that will handle the project whom he said will deliver within the contract duration.
> However, the traditional father of the kingdom, Attah Igala , who poured adulation on the governor to have made the dreams of the people to be kick started during his reign , said, the governor deserves massive votes from the people in the Nov, 16 governorship election.
> He called on all Igala sons and daughters for the spirit of brotherhood and ethnic mutual relationship to vote enmass for Bello and his running mate chief David Onoja.
Bello , Idah bridge , a Metaphor for development of Igala Kingdom.
Oct 30, 2019, 16:57 pm 1577
> By Ojonimi Ochune.