- Kogi West Have Been Victims of Political Betrayal – Ohikere
Kogi Justice Forum, a socio-political group, has reiterated calls for the rotation of the state’s governorship seat to the western senatorial district, insisting that it is their turn to occupy the number one office in the state.
Addressing newsmen in Lokoja on Saturday, spokesman of the group, Alhaji Hassan Ojochene, an Igala man, said it has become imperative to allow Kogi West produce the next governor of the state to ensure equity, fairness and justice.
The forum, which consists of prominent people from the three senatorial districts of the state, said since the creation of the state over 32 years ago, Kogi West district has never had a taste of the governorship seat
Ojochene noted that there are three major tribal groups in the state, comprising of Igala, Ebira and Yoruba-Okun people.
He explained that the Igalas in the Eastern senatorial district had produced, at different times, three persons as governors namely Prince Abubaker Audu, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Capt Idris Wada while the central senatorial district also produced the incumbent governor, Alh Yahaya Bello whose second term will end in January 2024.
He added that the Eastern and Central senatorial districts have had their fair share controlling and administering the resources of the state since its creation.
He said the members of the group are drawn from Igala, Ebira, Nupe, Kakanda and Okun who believe in social justice and equal rights.
He said by the political arrangement, it is now the turn of Kogi West to produce the next governor and it will be fairer if Kabba, the senatorial headquarters of Kogi West, is given the opportunity to first have a taste of the exalted position.
According to the group, the choice of Kabba is considered because of its population and the fact that the ancient town has been famous since the first republic, during the Kabba Province, which the group said was the engine room for Northern Nigeria civil service.
Aside from this, the group said Kabba which is a cosmopolitan town narrowly missed been made the state capital in August 1991 when General Ibrahim Babaginda created the state and therefore should be compensated by allowing the people in the town to be considered for the plum job no matter the political parties.
It will be recalled that only last week, a Kogi State former Commissioner for Information and Culture, Dr. Tom Ohikere has said that the Kogi West Senatorial District has been victims of political betrayal and should therefore be supported by other districts to produce the next governor.
Ohikere in a statement said “Based on the unwritten agreement for power rotation as being demonstrated in states across the country, I am constrained and burdened to challenge the gladiators from both the APC and PDP, particularly those from Kogi East and Kogi Central to support their helmsmen from Kogi West to be the next governor of the state, in order to start laying the foundation for sustainable democracy and to give the Kogi West a sense of belonging in the state.
“Politically, the people of Kogi West which comprises of Lokoja, Koto, Kabba, Ijumu, Yagba West, Yagba East and Mopamuro have been marginalized by the Kogi East and Kogi Central in this regard. They have been victims of political betrayal by the Igalas and Ebira.
“In fairness to them, power rotation to Kogi West is good for equity and justice. The Igalas must remember the supportive roles they played, while the Ebiras must also remember the negotiations with them that has enabled them to deliberately support Governor Yahaya Bello in his first and second term bids.”