Oct 24, 2008

Ronku Becomes District Head of Miango

On Saturday 18th October, state government officials, traditional rulers, friends and well wishers gathered at Nkye Chinye arena, Miango town, to witness the installation of Retired Reverend Ronku Aka as the Distirct Head of Miango.

Miango is one of the two districts of Irigwe land in Bassa Local Government Area in the North of Plateau State, Central Nigeria.

Retired Reverend Ronku Aka was born in 1938 at Iri Ishe of Teegbe Clan to the family of Aka Ishe a descendant of Chile Aka, the traditional Chief Priest at the time. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, he too became a chief Priest, albeit, according to Christ’s teachings

Ronku was trained as an evangelist at Kagoro Bible Training School between 1956 and 1959. He also had teacher’s training at the College of Education Akwanga from 1978 to 1981 when he passed out with National Certificate of Education, NCE. At the time he passed out of the College of Education he declined the option of exemption from the National Youth Service Corp that is usually granted people above the age of thirty and subsequently served with the ECWA headquarters in Jos Plateau State. Ronku also attended other courses, which include the American Management Association course for ECWA executives, a course for Cross Cultural Communication Among Different Tribes and another course for the Nigerian Institute for Management for Senior Executives

One year after his graduation from the Bible Training School, he became the pastor of Evangelical Churches of West Africa at Miango and held the position until. In 1973 he became the pastor of ECWA Church Tudun Wada Miango and served in that capacity for two decades.

Hard working pastors of ECWA also hold administrative positions while still taking care of their primary District Church Council (DCC) in 1969 and held the position until 1972. He was also the National Treasurer of ECWA from 1970 to 1978. When Plateau DCC was carved out of the Zaria/ Plateau DCC, he became its first Chairman between 1973 and 1975. In 1982 he became ECWA Assistant Secretary and held the position until 1988.

ECWA alongside other missionary organizations has played a remarkable role in the development of the nation through its establishment of schools, hospitals, broadcasting outfits and factories. The new District Head played a remarkable role in the success stories of ECWA organizations. He held the position of Manager of ECWA Community Secondary School Miango from 1972 to 1976. He was appointed Chairman Board of Directors of ECWA Rural Development, Evangel Hospital and Radio ELWA from 1983 to 1088. He again became the Chairman of ECWA Secondary School Miango from 2002 to 2008.

Outside of ECWA Ronku also made his contributions to the development of Plateau State and the nation at large. Between 1986 and 1987 he was a member of the Governing Council of the College of Education, Gindiri. He was also the supervisory Councilor of Education of Bassa Local Government Council between 1990 and 1991. He dabbled into politics between 1992 and 1993 when he was the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Social Democratic Party for Bassa Local Government. At a point he was the Chairman of the Congress for National Consensus for Bassa Local Government. Presently, he is a member of the Board of Trustees, Hillcrest School Jos Plateau State, a position he has held since 1994. He is again the current Chairman of Irigwe Language and Bible Translation Project.

Ronku was appointed as the Acting District Head of Miango by the late Bra Ngwe Irigwe, the Paramount Ruler of the Irigwe Chiefdom in 2002. On April 11, he was elected a substantive District Head of Miango by the Miango king makers and subsequently confirmed by the Plateau State Governor, Retired Commodore Jonah David Jang.

He is a widely traveled man. He has traveled the United States, Israel and a number of countries in Europe and Africa.

Chieftaincy portfolios in Plateau State are like boxing crowns. You have to fight to win one to be qualified to contest for higher title. Following the installation of Ronku as the District Head of Miango, he now becomes qualified to contest for the vacant stool of the Bra Ngwe Irigwe, the paramount ruler of Irigwe land following the demise of the Bra Ngwe a couple of years back. The contest will be between Ronku and the District Head of Kwall, the second district in Irigweland

The Mining Ponds of Jos Plateau

The Jurassic Younger Granites of Jos Plateau are not just physical attractions to environmental tourists but are the host of tin and columbite mineral deposits that have given the locality global prominence in the past. These mineral deposits got European mining companies busy from the very beginning of the twentieth century. Mining activities declined on the Plateau as a result of the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta leading to some sort of involuntary decision to let the mines lie fallow.

At the exact locations of these mining sites one sees spectacular coned-shaped mounds of excavated overburden soils with base radius as much as 30m and rising to heights of about 15m. Usually many of such cones could be seen clustered together. On the sides are the man-steep sided depressions filled with still waters that often make them dreadful looking. These depressions represent the locations the heaps once were.

Mining activities affected close to a quarter of the communities in the state especially in Jos-south, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, Bassa, Riyom and Jos-east local government areas.

Big-time mining activities ended in the eighties. In some places time is wearing away the prominence of mining scars. In other places they are as prominent as ever, thereby remaining as wastelands that occupy space that would have been put to gainful use especially in agricultural production. Furthermore, the mining ponds have become death traps where people often die mysteriously.

As the saying goes, behind any cloud is a silver lining. These thing mines are not all waste after all. Our siblings born long after mining activities have ended often seek to know what these eye-catching anomalies represent. As a result some of these old mines came to be used as educational resource sites for teaching kids about mining and to also let them know about the mining history of their native lands. In Rayfield, a part of Jos, a mining pond has been made into a recreational facility, the Rayfield Resort where people often go and have a nice time especially during public holidays. As can be understood, Plateau State derived its name from the geographical nature of the terrain that is elevated and flat on top. In view of the fact that it lies within the savannah vegetation belt, it becomes possible to see for miles away, giving the Plateau the beauty it has been known for. Where mine sites occur, the red laterite of mining waste contrast with the background environment making the landscape even more beautiful.

To those who worked in the mining companies, anything reminiscent of the mining activities brings back sweet memories of a time they worked and were paid in currencies that had integrity, a period during which employers provided descent accommodation complete with steady electric power and water, not to mention transportation and manpower training. The local communities never experienced hopelessness and despair, only the opposite.

In view of the fact that hundreds of new mining licenses where issued in 2007, heaps of mining waste are sure to rise again, if not on the Plateau they will elsewhere in Africa’s most populous nation.

Finangwai Dreams Big for Plateau State

Dr Hosea Finangwai. Source Dr Finangwai There is that saying that “the things that people desperately seek are always with them.” If ...