Stakeholders from across the nine local government areas of Kogi East senatorial district have announced the formation of a sociopolitical alliance group in support of the western district to produce the next governor of the state.
Arising from its inaugural meeting in Abuja over the weekend, the Forum said it is time to preach and practice principles of justice, equity and fairness in the governance of the state for a united front for the progress and development of the state.
The stakeholders said the only fair deal is to support the western axis of the state to occupy Lugard House in the forthcoming Kogi gubernatorial election, after over thirty years of creation of the state.
The group said it is only a matter of common sense, sense of belonging and unity to allow their brothers and sisters from the seven LGAs of Kogi West have a taste of the seat of power after more than twenty years of uninterrupted democratic experience in the state.
Speaking during the meeting, convener of the group, Alh. Ismaila Abutu who hails from Ofu LGA of the state, said it is time for Kogi people to work as one, live as one and collectively choose a leadership style that is anchored on fairness, equity and justice for the good of the state.
Alh. Abutu said the state has been embroiled in ethnic animosity, religious politics, tribal consideration and all sorts of negative political machinations that have held the state down for three decades, “but it is time to rise above our challenges and differences and bequeath a united and prosperous state to the coming generation.”
He said this can only be achieved if the other zones allows someone from Kogi West to emerge as Governor in the November 2023 election.
Alh. Abutu, a former House of Representatives aspirant, said the state cannot experience meaningful development and peace if all the three senatorial districts are not given equal opportunity to rule the state.
He called on traditional rulers, religious leaders, opinion moulders and all well meaning people of Kogi state to rise up to this challenge for the future of the state.
He said the group is ready to begin a tour of the twenty-one LGAs of the state to interface with all relevant stakeholders to drive home the desire and demand of the new generation for collective prosperity of the state.
Speaking on behalf of the people of Dekina/Bassa federal constituency, Chief John Adaji said political leaders in the state must depart from the tribal politics that have made development impossible in the state.
He said Ibaji LGA, despite being in Igala land, a place that have produced Governor of the state, have never experienced any form of development since the over sixteen years rule of Igala people in the state.
He said the entire Ibaji is currently submerged in flood without help coming from anywhere, adding that experience of the past have shown that development is not only when your tribal person is in power but about when there is equity, justice and fairness.
Chief Adaji said that reality have shown that even development can only be achieved if there is fairness and equity is sharing political offices.
He said a man who gets elected on the altar of fairness will not find it difficult to make development evenly distributed but a man who emerges on ethnic considerations will always be arrogant with power and development.
Chief Adaji said the group will do her best to cause unprecedented change that will guarantee a Kogi West Governor in 2024.
On her path, a renowned women leader from Igalamela-Odolu LGA, Hajia Asmau Adaji, said people of Kogi state are a collection of minorities in Nigeria who needs to unite together for a national cause.
She said the voice of Kogites have not been loudly heard at the national scene because the actors in the state are sharply divided along ethnic and tribal lines, an act that have caused backwardness, underdevelopment and political irrelevance to the state.
She said it is time to reason, plan and work as one people of Kogi state and not as ethnic or tribal actors who are desperate for power.
The group thereafter set up contact and mobilization, finance and publicity committees to begin immediate and aggressive mobilization of the people of the state towards the cause.