It has come to the attention of Okun Renewed Group (ORG) that a group of individuals under the name ‘’Concerned Citizen for True Democracy” has criticised the reappointment of the Secretary to the Kogi State Government from the Yagba axis.
The group raised self-aggravating concerns regarding the choice of Dr (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade, describing it as abnormal for an SSG to be appointed from the Yagba axis instead of the Kabba axis in the same Kogi West senatorial district.
To us in ORG, this call is an unfair, selfish, baseless, divisive and unnecessary diversion for a barely one-month-old government of His Excellency Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, given the balance of political positions in the state and senatorial district.
We firmly believe in the following:
1. First of all, it is the prerogative of the Governor of Kogi State to appoint whoever he deems fit for the position of Secretary to the State Government.
The governor is not obligated to base his decision on the opinions of any group or individual and should be allowed to make the best decision for the state.
In this regard, we believe the governor has appointed a brilliant, prepared, focused and result-oriented SSG in the person of Dr Mrs Folashade Ayoade.
2. The group’s claim that Kabba should be given the Secretary to the State Government position because of its role in the last election is not logical. Kabba can contribute to the development of the state without necessarily holding the SSG position.
3. The ultimate qualifications for this position are the call to duty and service delivery. This position requires technical skills, intellectual capacity, and administrative prowess, which Dr. Ayoade possessed. This helped to hold the centre together when her service was most desirable. Her demonstration of hard work and dedication laced with integrity and loyalty is what earned her lots of commendations from her former principal, which resulted in her re-appointment as the first-timer female SSG in Nigeria and not for political and parochial reasons or reward for mediocrity and sycophancy.
4. The group’s statement that “Kabba people will always pay back if the right thing is done or not” is disturbing and sounds too undemocratic. Our concern is for Okun’s sons or daughters to get good positions. It is needless to draw too a thick line between a Yagba person and a Kabba person in the sharing of political positions.
5. The group’s further claim that the position should be given to a specific community rather than the most qualified individual is counterproductive to the goals of good governance.
In a democracy, positions must be given based on merit rather than identity or connections.
6. The group’s suggestion that those from Kabba should be given preference for the position because they have a higher population than other areas is untenable. There are seven local governments in Okun land.
It would be unfair to disregard the abilities and qualifications of individuals from other areas based solely on the population of their communities. The position of SSG is to serve the entire state and not a parochial call to serve or reward a community.
7. The claim that Kabba deserves the position because of its contributions to the state’s economy and development is not a sufficient reason to make such an appointment. While it is true that Kabba has made valuable contributions to the development of Kogi State,
Kabba has also benefited from past appointments in the State. The immediate past Speaker of the House of Assembly is from Kabba. Kabba has also played host to federal education institutions and, more recently, the Kogi State University. It’s therefore unfair to call for the neglect of other local governments and communities in the Okunland.
8. It is also worth noting that Kogi State is a diverse and multi-ethnic state. Any attempt to favour one community or ethnic group over another could create division and resentment rather than promote unity. It is important to remember that Kogi State comprises many different groups, all of whom have equal rights and deserve to be treated with respect and fairness.
9. The group’s suggestions could potentially lead to nepotism and favouritism, contrary to the principles of democracy. In a democracy, all citizens must be cared for.
10. It is worth noting that Kogi State is still a developing state, and there is much work to be done to improve the standard of living for all citizens. Rather than focusing on which community should be given which position, it would be more productive to focus on ways to improve the lives of all citizens, regardless of their background.
11. History is replete with sacred facts, just like the truth. There are indisputable facts that 6 out of 7 local government areas of Kogi West have produced senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at various times except for the Yagba East local government area where the SSG comes from. It’s also worth mentioning that for most of the immediate past administrations, the position of speaker, several special advisers, and assistants is enjoyed by the people of Kabba.
Therefore, the agitation of these faceless groups is unfair and capable of destroying the unity and bond intended by inclusivity and participatory democracy engendered by the administrations of the immediate past governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and Gov Ahmed Usman Ododo.
Finally, we would like to conclude that it is essential to remember that all citizens of Kogi State are equal and have equal rights to participate in government.
An advice to the Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Ahmed Usman Ododo, would be to remember that he was elected to serve all citizens of the state, regardless of their background or ethnicity. He must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly. And have the opportunity to participate in government. This includes appointing qualified individuals to positions of responsibility, regardless of their community of origin. In this way, he can build a strong and united Kogi State where all citizens can enjoy the benefits of development and progress.
It is important to remember that the future of Kogi State is in the hands of all its citizens, and together, we can build a better and more prosperous future.
God bless you, and may God bless Kogi State!
President, Okun Renewed Group(ORG)