Igala Professors Forum has called for a strong political leadership that will bring about the desired rapid development in the Igala nation.
Prof Dominic Akpa, the Acting Chairman of the Forum, made the call at a reception and public lecture organised by the Forum in honour of the Minister of State for Labour, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, and Prof. Sam Egwu, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Niger.
The Lecture was titled, “Role of Public Officers in Strategising for Competitive Development,’’.
According to him, Akpa, at present, the Igala nation is afflicted by myriads of problems ranging from poverty and diseases, falling standard of education, inadequate infrastructure and rising crime wave.
“To be able to address these problems, we need strong political leadership, we need leaders of the stature of what Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sarduna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, were to their generation.
“To produce such leaders, we need to be united. This forum must be able to think out of the box on the way by which our people can be emancipated from the pervasive, excruciating poverty in the land.
“The economists among us should figure out the ways that wealth creators can be attracted to, and even raised in the land in spite of the scare resources and limited infrastructure.
“Other professionals in the land have crucial roles to play in the emancipation of the people and the development of our fatherland.
“There is also the need to re-orient our people, especially the youth on the correct way to play politics which will not bring disunity in the land.
“Political opponents should not be seen as enemies but rather seen as partners in progress,’ he said.
Akpa urged all who were privileged to be appointed into high offices in the country to maintain good and cordial relationship with their contemporaries for future assistance for Igala land.
He said that the task of the forum was enormous but not insurmountable.
Also, Prof Godwin Ogbadu,a a retired Professor from Amadu Bello University (ABU) Zaira, said the forum was an avenue to reunite, network and fashion out the way forward for Igala people.
Ogbadu said the Igalas are proud and enterprising and driven by core values of integrity and should occupy a strategic place in Nigeria and should also be recognised in current national dialogue.
“Unfortunately, the Igala nation is plagued with different problems. It is important that as a people we come together and speak with one voice.
“We need strong political leadership to be a voice for our people and also a good fellowship to support the leader. This will enable us track our problems and find solutions to them, ‘’he said.
He urged the forum to make recommendations that would be beneficial to Igala people, adding that it should expand its membership to include professionals and academics in order to accommodate all interest groups.