SPEECH BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, IGALA CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (ICDA) AT THE PRESENTATION AND UNVEILING OF THE ASSOCIATION'S DONATION OF 27,000 FACE MASKS TO VARIOUS COMMUNITIES AND STAKEHOLDERS IN KOGI STATE.
I am happy to welcome all our guests to this event. In particular, the ICDA honours members and executives of the Ebira Peoples Assembly (EPA), the Okun Development Association (ODA),The Christain Association of Nigeria(CAN) Kogi State Chapter,Jamatur Nasir Islam(JNI) as well as all other socio-cultural associations from across the state represented here today. Thank you for making out the time to join us.
We also have members of the Kogi State COVID-19 and Lassa Fever Squadron Committee led by the Chairman, His Excellency, Edward David Onoja, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State. This Committee is in the forefront of coordinating our state's response to the ongoing CoviD-19 pandemic. That Kogi State is still CoviD-19 free is a credit to His Excellency our Governor, your humble self and the entire New Direction team, so, thank you.
We are here to formally unveil and distribute 27,000 Face Masks procured by ICDA with the support of some of our beloved sons and daughters of Kogi extractions .Who wishes to remain anonymous,I can honestly describe them as truly patriotic Statesmen.
The Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA) is the apex Igala sociocultural organ and overall mouthpiece of the Igala Nation. Our core mandate is the development of Igalaland and the propagation of Igala interests globally.
So, ICDA has served the interests of Igala people and Kogi East through the different eras and administrations in our state and country. We have mostly confined ourselves to our homeland and people, but whenever the need arises we have also partnered with our brother organisations from other tribes for a greater and better Kogi State.
There is no one who can claim ignorance of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping through the earth. Nigeria has not been exempted and the numbers of the infected and dead continue to rise alarmingly day after day.
By the grace of God Kogi State is one of the last two states in the whole country that is still CoviD-19 free. We thank God for our good fortune and celebrate our Governor for his creative and forthright leadership in these difficult times. We see and we read in the media the attacks His Excellency is receiving because of his insistence that Kogites will not become commodities for the consumption of the Covid-19 machinery. We pray the Almighty God to strengthen, preserve and guide His Excellency.
Like I said earlier, we are here to unveil and distribute 27,000 Face Masks acquired by ICDA as part of our own social responsibility. We hope our brother organisations will grant us the privilege of sharing these masks with them.
We wish to release 500-1000 face masks to each State consistency area in Kogi State to be distributed by the various sociocultural organisations as appropriate. In other words, we will give 10,000 to Igalaland through the ICDA, 5500 to Ebiraland and Ogori-Magogo land through the EPA, 5000 to Okunland through the ODA and 1000 to Bassaland, 2000 to Lokoja and 1000 Kogi/Koton Karfe.
We will also release 1000 each to the Christian and Muslim Communities in the State through their umbrella bodies, ie, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Kogi State JNI .
All of these face masks are for immediate distribution to the members of the public through the beneficiary organisation to assist in the personal protection of our people as they go about their business. The following categories of groups and persons are to be prioritized owing to their constant interface with humans in the course of their daily job.
Today's event, apart from being one of the various ways in which ICDA hopes to contribute her quota tangibly to make sure our State remains free of the coronavirus outbreak is also a clarion call to all and sundry to arise and support the government's efforts in whatever way they can.
This is the very first time that ICDA is stretching out her hand of friendship to other tribes and organisations in our society in such a meaningful way and on such a unifying scale. Our singular motivation for this action is found in this Administration's flagship programme known as The EBIGO agenda which seeks to replace self and tribal interest among us with synergy,cooperation and integration.
It should have become clear to even the blind that His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello is daring and different, creative and courageous in service to the people. We are proud that the Governor is helped in the task of managing this state by our own son who is the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Edward David Onoja (CIK).
We at ICDA commend the Governor's unparalleled efforts to keep Kogi State safe and secure. His Excellency's appointment of 21 grassroots oriented gentlemen as his Senior Special Assistants on Security. That innovation has borne abundant fruit as the synergy between them and the various security agencies, including our own Kogi State Vigilante Services, and coordination of the State Security Adviser continues to checkmate criminal activities across the state.
We also appreciate the Administration for the efforts to prioritise payment of workers' salaries in this CoviD-19 period, even when a large chunk of the workforce have been at home for the past 2 months. The government has also done well to review the 2020 state budget downwards. This is definitely a proactive and smart response to economic contractions from dwindling revenues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
We look forward to the time in the near future when the coronavirus pandemic would have been defeated and we can go about our daily lives unafraid of infection, disease or death. Till then I urge everyone to obey the rules of prevention and avoid risky behaviour. The face masks we have distributed today will go a long way in helping people keep safe.
Thank you and God bless.