Power Shift, The Solution to Under-development in Kogi State by Odih Daniel N.

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I do not want to sow seeds of dicord among people that are politically tied together, and I can’t help speaking my mind in a debilitating circumstance where power control rests with one man, one family. Ever since the creation of Kogi State, the Igalas have been the rulers and the leaders with little or no result to show for the years they spend in power.

I have no political affiliation, as I have no membership card of APC, PDP or Labour Party, and more importantly, I am non-tribalistic, as my being Igala does not preclude me from speaking the bitter truth. The Igalas are the woes of the small state called Kogi.

Permit me to say that 14 years of the Igala rulership in Kogi State, Igalaland is the most famished of all the lands in Kogi State. Besides, the Igalas form the major percentage of the unemployed class mostly found in Ganaja Junction, seeking menial jobs. And when it comes to politics and who rules, the Igalas will not hesitate to say that “We are the majority”. When you go to Adankolo and part of Gadumo, the areas inhabited by the poor and the destitute, the people leading in poverty in these areas are the Igalas. When you take a stock of the educated but the unemployed youths in Kogi State, the Igalas constitute the largest percentage, measuring up to 65%.

Going back the memory lane, the Igalas are trying to pay back (and so I see it) what they suffered in the hands of the Tivs of Benue State, where the Tivs took the juicy part of major jobs in Benue State, leaving the poor jobs for the Igalas, the Idomas, the Igedes, etc. to share. If out of sheer ignorance the Tivs, who were and still are predominantly farmers relegated the Igalas to the debasing positions, should the same treatment be enacted in Kogi State?

Apart from the Kogi State University which Audu sited in Igala land, I want a well-discerning Igala man without prejudice to tell me what else the Igala people benefitted and still benefit from the 14 years of their leadership of the state. How long will we live in tribalism and clannishness just to see our own in power, and our own body and soul pay the sureme price of poverty soon afterwards?

In 2007, shortly after the election tribunal which removed Ibrahim Idris from power and brought Clarence Olafemi, the then Speaker of the state House of Assembly to power as the acting Governor, what we saw on ground within 3 months could measure up to what Ibrahim Idris did for 8 years. This means that the problem with Kogi State is leadership inefficiency and lack of administrative acumen.

Like a supplicant, waiting for God to answer his prayer, I believe that power shift will give this poor, dirty and hungry state a better outlook, a better name and a better song.

If having Igala men as governors impoverishes the people, why do we still sing the song of tribalism? Why don’t we try another tribe, say Ebirra or Okun, and see how we can conveniently weigh the side where the scale is lopsided?

Although I may see hatred from my fellow Igala people who may see me as giving them out to other tribes, I don’t believe in tribalism and clannishness, and Govenor Wada Idris impoverishes the state the most in the history of Kogi State. The Igalas, I conclude, are the people most unfit for leadership positions, ranging from governorship position to the general civil service life.

Odih Daniel N.

Lokoja, Kogi State.


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