A multi-million naira secretariat built for the Ibaji Local Government Area in Onyedega community, Kogi State, has presently been turned into a rice farm due to years of inactivity.
Residents who sent videos to SaharaReporters stated that the LGA officials are responsible for the rice farming as well as the Divisional Police Officer of Onyedega division.
This is even as the residents lamented that the Local government Chairman, Williams Iko-Ojo Obiora, refused to relocate and work from the building.
“The secretariat is now a rice farm. Workers don’t do any official work there. We don’t feel the government’s presence in our community. We have to travel several kilometres away to Idah to get anything done,” a resident lamented.
The structure had been abandoned since 2014 due to the bad road connecting the community and seasonal floods.
Workers who spoke with SaharaReporters in February had said the LGA Chairman had been operating from Idah LGA, a neighbouring community which is about two-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 had noted.
SaharaReporters learnt that the Ibaji Progressive 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.