The Onu of Itobe, HRH Alhaji Salihu Adaji, has made a heartfelt appeal to the Kogi State Government, urging them to prioritize the construction of a general hospital to cater to the healthcare needs of the ancient Itobe community. The plea was voiced during a constituency town hall meeting organized by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in collaboration with the Initiative for Grassroots Advancement in Nigeria, INGRA.
Expressing concern over the lack of adequate health facilities and access to potable drinking water in Itobe, Alhaji Salihu Adaji highlighted the historical significance of the community, which has unfortunately been overlooked in terms of essential services. The Onu of Itobe lamented that since the creation of Kogi State in 1991, his community has not received budgetary allocations for health services.
Noting that Itobe district dates back to 1926 under colonial administration, Alhaji Salihu Adaji emphasized the community’s strategic location as a connecting point to other parts of the country with abundant natural resources. Despite these attributes, Itobe has allegedly been neglected, leading to prolonged suffering.
The monarch outlined the dire need for a general hospital and potable drinking water, citing numerous challenges faced by the community, including casualties due to inadequate health facilities. He revealed that appeals for the upgrade of health facilities in Itobe had not yielded positive results.
Alhaji Salihu Adaji also drew attention to the deteriorating condition of the Itobe Niger Bridge road, expressing disappointment that, despite budget allocations and fund releases, the road remains neglected. He urged transparency in the handling of allocated funds for infrastructure development, emphasizing the importance of addressing road conditions, especially during the rainy season when accessibility becomes challenging.
While acknowledging the achievements of outgoing Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Itobe monarch urged the incoming administration of Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo to build upon the progress made by his predecessor. He particularly highlighted the need for sustained development in healthcare, infrastructure, and water provision.
Idris Ozovehe Muraina, the chairperson of the Kogi State NGO network, echoed the concerns raised by Alhaji Salihu Adaji. He called on the incoming administration to include the construction of a general hospital and a functional government water facility in Itobe in a supplementary budget to be presented before the Kogi State House of Assembly. Muraina emphasized the urgency of addressing the community’s lack of potable water, good township roads, and essential healthcare facilities.