By Shaibu Stephen Ojate
Growing up water scarcity was usually the greatest challenges of
inhabitants of Ikuehi people in Okehi local government of Kogi State.
Ikuehi is one of the areas that form the nuclear Town called Ihima. The
major source of water supply for these people at Ikuehi was from ever
non-drying stream which the local named and called ‘Otite’.
Otite is usually a center of beehive of activities during the drying
season as people from far and near usually come to the stream to fetch
water. I could remember that people of different ages and sex would
queue their container and Jugs in a line to get water from the stream
for their domestic needs. The water from this stream was very pure and
does not have any sediment when finally fetched. It is even purer than
the bottle water we buy these days.
Inspite of the great importance the stream played in the life of the
local people; it turns to another thing during the raining season.
During the raining season, the flowing down water from uphill would
bring all dirty materials and mud to mess up the stream water. As this
was the case, the local people usually abandon it for drinking rather
the water from this stream during this time is mostly use to wash cloth
and other domestic cleanings.
This was the case in early late 19s and and late 20s before I finally
left the village for higher education and subsequently to Abuja upon the
completion of my National Youth Service Corp in 2006. I could remember
that the state of the stream and how to make it better was usually one
of the party manifestos and campaign promises of any aspiring councillor
from the wards as they do promised the locals on how they shall take
care of stream when elected.
Just as how deceitful some politicians are, after being elected, they
turn deaf ear to the state of the stream even if they got the support of
the people to make the stream better. This has been the case in every
election years and the stream remained the same for decades inspite that
the people rely on it as their major source of water during the raining
and dry season.
The stream remained unattended to even up to 2015. It will interest my
reader to know that when I travelled to my hometown last December, what
I observed was shocking and amazing. When I arrived the point of the
stream, I saw a well-decorated stream with fence and decorated flooring.
The atmosphere of the stream was just too cool and the water from the
stream was just like one from the refrigerator. There was no single
dirty in it as the stream was well covered.
Seeing this, I declare to myself that this must be one of the
constituency projects of one of the serving elected officials in our
area. On getting to the house, I quickly called my mum to enquire about
the politicians behind the renovated and decorated stream and I was
shock when she told me it is one of the humanitarian works of Natasha
My mum declared to me that Natasha renovated the stream long ago when
she never shown interest in any political positions. I equally enquired
more about her doing in the village and many were able to point to two
or three things she has done for the local people. Today, that same
Natasha is distributing truck load of rice to Villagers as part of her
palliate measure for an order by the government urging people to sit at
home due to coronavirus spread.
In Ebiraland, I came to understand that the people hardly forget the
good deeds done to them by anyone. Natasha is however not the first to
start good gesture as immediate past Senator of Kogi Central was one
person who have done wonderfully well for the villages in the past.
Ogembe of a truth engendered himself in the mind of the local people
before showing interest in political positions. Before seeking for
elective positions, he sunk many borehole in nooks and crannies of Kogi
central and the society never forget about that good gesture. He was
rewarded thereafter. Despite losing at every elective contests in many
election years, he was later elected council Chairman and later Senator
of federal republic of Nigeria.
Going by the stance of Natasha to always come to the aid of the local
people when they need service of influential and rich people the most, I
foresee that one day her long dream of serving the good people of Kogi
central and Kogi State will come to pass.
This would not be a long distance time but the coming election as she
is presently doing an uncommon thing for the people, which will motivate
people to massively vote for her despite her shortcoming in the past. To
me, she is presently not a push aside in Kogi central if we have to tell
ourselves the truth as her good deeds is glaring to everyone.
Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and public affairs writes from