By YJ Itopa
October 2nd, 2020, the secretariat of the Kogi State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) becomes a beehive of activities. As early as 8 a:m both members of the Kogi Central Senatorial District Labour Forum, NUJ, friends and other well wishers have begun to troop into the council hall, jostling for seats in order to catch good glimpses of the event that is about to unfold.
What event? Workers in the Kogi State Civil Sevice from Ebira/Ogori-Mangogoland, proud of the contributions of Ibrahim Isa Amoka, the Clerk of the Kogi State House of Assembly, in uplifting his people and his place from the backwoods of development in all its consequences have decided to organise a reception for him. They give reasons for choosing Amoka for the prized reception.
Amoka had joined the State Civil Service about two decades and some years ago. He cut his civil service teeth as a Journalist with The Graphic newspaper, a weekly tabloid owned by government, and rose to the position of Features and Deputy Editor before he became the Chairman of Kogi State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, having served the council earlier as its Treasurer.
Poised to return to his media stable for regular journalism once again, an interjection, a rewarding cut in stopped his return to The Graphic. His come between was Rt. Hon Abdullahi Bello as the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly. Bello had required his services as Special Adviser on Media. Consulted, Amoka’s colleague journalists, friends and family expressed happiness, prayed and said he could go for the new experience.
At the expiration of his four legislative years at the House of Assembly, Speaker Bello left his exalted position. Amoka did not leave the lawmaking chamber with him. As a civil servant, he couldn’t. He remained behind as Director, working directly with the Assembly clerks, learning the ropes for the fun of it, not knowing he was being prepared by divinities for the coveted seat of the Clerk of Kogi State House of Assembly.
His predecessor clerk Mathew Shaibu had reached the tether of his civil service years. Eyes began to pop out, salivating for the about to be vacant position of clerk. The role of a mediator between the dueling eyes fell on Amoka. He pleaded that swords be sheathed for the sake of peace, sermonizing that all positions belonged to God.
” Power belongs to God. He gives it to whoever in whom He is pleased. It is not how much of the struggle we put up that gives us position. Whoever eventually emerges between the two of you, let us work for him, let us work with him for the collective good of all of us at this Assembly,”he pleaded.
Amoka did not nurse a whiff of thirst for the saddle of the clerk of the Assembly. His ambition was to birth understanding between the people in the race for clerk position. He was genuine in his peacemaking and the people trusted him.
But as things turned out to be, the mediator was the one that eventually got crowned with the prize that was the clerk of the chambers. Amoka did not look for the position. But the position defied the rain, sneered the roasting sun and went for Ibrahim Isa Amoka as the divine choice for the hotly contested position.
With his choice, the spiralling smoke from the race for the position instantly settled. Applause for Governor Yahaya Bello administration for the choice of Amoka has kept reverberating ever since.
Yes! The holding of the colourful reception by Kogi Central Labour forum in honour of the Clerk is an eloquent testimony to his famed goodness, humility, empathy and people centered leadership and the slant of reception held for him at NUJ council hall was in cahoot with his essence.
Opening the deluge of remarks at the reception, the chairman of the Forum, Comrade Moses Momoh said inter alia that members of the Central Labour Forum decided to organise the reception in hohour of the Clerk because his activities as a Journalist, NUJ Chairman, Media Adviser and Clerk of the Kogi State House of Assembly, he has always been a great ambassador to Ebira and Ogori/Magongo District of the state and even beyond.
“We, the entire members of Kogi Central Labour Forum, wish to profoundly thank His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for this singular appointment of Ibrahim Amoka as Clerk of the State House of Assembly. We want to assure the Governor and the Honourable members of the House of Assembly that Amoka that we all know will justify the confidence reposed in him.”
Comrade Momoh seized the opportunity of the event to thank the Governor for the establishment of the Confluence University of Science and Technology in Osara, urging him to see to the timely completion of the Ivory Towers as it would be one of the star achievements of the administration.
Speaker after speaker at the reception had edifying comments to pour on Amoka. Human Rights activist Idris Miliki described Amoka as friendly and patriotic. Comrade Hojapa Yusuf, former State Vice Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress, told the gathering that Amoka, a humane personality who mixed freely with the people has more heights waiting for him.
Hear Comrade Habitat Umar Ibrahim of Radio Kogi: “For us in the Kogi Central Labour Forum, Amoka is a father to us, in Journalism circle he is our pride.Women in Central Labour Forum will keep praying for him to soar higher”
Emmanuel Boro, former NUJ Chairman described Clerk Amoka as his personal friend and “we have been together all the time. I don’t know Amoka as somebody who discriminates against people. He is a man of the people.
Investigator Dirisu Omeiza, the Sergeant-At-Arm of the House of Assembly is the wafture of the presence of the Honourable members of the chamber; in this event, Omeiza is the Assembly scent that wafts blissfully through the skin of reception.
He expressed gratitude to the organizers of the event: ” We are grateful to the Central Labour Forum for recognising one of us. The House of Assembly is pleased with this singular honour. This homage is well deserved because since Amoka climbed the height as Clerk of the House, he has continued to creditably run the administrative affairs of the Assembly. I can assure you that Amoka that we all know as a humble and pleasant personality will continue to make us proud, ” he concludes
The Coordinator and the compere of the reception Obansa Ibrahim of Guardian newspaper, former Correspondents Chapel Chairman of the NUJ hailed the Clerk as very accommodating, a team player and a very considerate administrator.
He said:” During his time as NUJ Chairman, he was innovative, the NUJ clinic was constructed and furnished. It is not only serving Journalists today, but the people around. Amoka as a unifying personality was able to unite all members of the union comprising of 8 chapels.
I know him as compassionate person who shares in the joys and pains of others. Amoka is being honoured today because of his many sacrifices for the good of people and his society. He is patient and that patience has today taken him to the zenith of his profession. Our prayer is for God to protect him and his family.
For Comrade Momohjimoh Adeiza, the current NUJ Chairman and General Manager of FRCN (Prime FM) Lokoja, the reception by the leadership of Kogi Central Labour Forum was not only for Amoka but all journalists because the Clerk is an ambassador of the NUJ.
His words: Amoka has left as our chairman. Yet he remains in touch with us and we are proud of him. We are grateful to Kogi State government for appointing one of us as Clerk of the The Assembly. This is our appointment and we highly cherish it.
The big masquerade, as our people say always comes last to the arena for his will be the most spectacular display. Clerk Amoka is the last to speak. And his remark is centred on streetwise gratitude.
” I am short of words. This is a most humbling and flattering honour. First and foremost, I am grateful to the Almighty Allah for the appointment that has brought us today together. After God, it is His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello I have to profoundly thank for finding me worthy of the position of the Clerk of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
Your Excellency sir, I promise you, I will do my best possible to be loyal and protect this confidence you have reposed in me. Thank you sir.
I also wish to thank all the honourable members of the Kogi State House of Assembly and all workers in the House for the love and cooperation they have been showing to me since I assumed office as Clerk of the hallowed Chambers. I will not fail to continue to be your servant.
Kogi Central Labour Forum members, as I said have humbled me with this special reception. This is a charge that will spur me to do more of my modest contributions to the upliftment of my society. I thank all my friends and well wishers. Neither silver nor gold do I have to give, yet I trust you will never cease loving and keeping me,” he expresses.Share this on WhatsApp