By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – IT was a gathering of political heavyweights from across the ten wards of Akoko-Edo local government area in Ososo for the first Akoko-Edo summit where participants called for cooperation among the people irrespective of political and ethnic differences for the development of the area.
The participants made up of politicians, traditional rulers led by the Otaru of Igarra, HRH Oba Adeche Saiki, religious leaders, private businessmen, activist and others also called for a concerted effort to ensure expansion of the representation of the local government in the state house of assembly from the current two to at least four considering the size of the council which did not benefit from several creation of more local government areas by previous governments.
A communiqué issued at the end of the summit and signed by the chairman of the event, Dr. Kingsley Ekundayo called for the constitution of an “Akoko Edo Development Committee of patriotic indigenes home and abroad with quality content to draw sustainable and regenerating development strategies.
“Establishing a centre for community integration for all to meet and share information and ideas for the common good of all.
“Political leaders to take advantage of delimitation of constituencies for us to have a minimum of four Houses of Assembly members in the future.
“Create partnership across ethnic blocks for the purpose of attracting the needed development to Akoko-Edo. On security, there must be a deliberate effort to have an integrated security architecture to secure lives and property. This will make the local government area more attractive to potential investors.”
The communiqué identified some of the challenges confronting the local government to include its inability to harness the natural and socio-cultural diversities and endowments of the area, attitudes of political leaders and royal fathers among others.
In the keynote address, Dr Bamidele Agbadua identified demographic, cultural and language difference, community competition, envy and bad following as part of the problems confronting the local government area.
On his part, Oba Saiki described the summit as a wake-up call for all the people of the local government and insisted that only unity would help the people develop considering the level of marginalization the local government area has suffered over the years.