This Gross Marginalization Of Okun Nation Must Stop by Balogun Emmanuel

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Okun people are Yoruba descendants in Kogi state. Kogi is a multi
ethnic state and Okun people are up to 27% of Kogi State population,
smaller than the other two major completely different tribes, Igala
and Ebira. Okun people spread across six local government areas in
Kogi State, known as Kabba-Bunu, Yagba-West, Yagba-East, Mopa-Muro,
Ìjùmú and Lokoja local government Areas. They speak varied
dialects…Owé, Ìyàgbà, Ìjùmú, Bùnú and Oworo, but their language is
generally called Okun,  Kabba is the present headquarters of Kogi
Western senatorial district, Kabba was the administrative headquarters
of the Kabba province of the defunct Northern Region of Nigeria, which
includes all of the current Kogi State. But with this intimidating
pioneering antiquity it is yet to regain its pride of place in the
socio-economic and political equation of Nigeria.



“The Okun world is composed intrinsically of Kingship and brotherhood.
The Okuns are driven with the passion to excel in all endeavors.I have
outline several crucial points detailing a myriad of other
externalities that has characterized the fate of Okun people in the
Federal Republic of Nigeria and has tended to accelerate the pace and
dynamics of dysfunction in the socio-economic, political and cultural
life of the Okun man, making him the laughing stock of his fellow
citizens and the hewers of wood and drawers of water in the Nigerian
scheme of things.

A) The systematic exclusion of competent and credible Okun sons and
daughters from appointments and elections into sensitive and strategic
positions such as the Presidency, Governors etc.


B) The absence of the Federal Government’s presence through
non-sitting of strategic and viable projects like power plants,
petroleum refineries, ministries, departments and agencies of the
Federal Government in Okunland.


C) The divide and rule politics which has bred disunity and lack of
cohesion among the Okuns.


D) The politics of patronage, through contract awards and sinecure
appointments, that makes the Igbo intelligentsia and business elite to
maintain a conspiracy of silence in the face of all these deprivations
and marginalization.

The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the
fundamental objective and directive principles of state policy, as
outlined in section 17 (1) explicitly states that: “The state social
order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice. But a
careful reading and observation of successive government actions and
pronouncements since the inception of democratic system of government
in Nigeria in 1999, with regards to the provisions of this section of
our constitution vis-a–viz its relation to the Okun race in Nigeria is
contradictory and leaves much to be desired.
The Okun axis is yet to produce a state governor after the creation of
the state in august 27, 1991, it is also the only known region yet to
have either a federal university/polytechnic/college of education
among other critical infrastructure needed to advance the
socio-economic status of this region.
For a region that have produced worthy nationalists like Cardinal John
Onaiyekan (Archbishop of Abuja), Bashorun Jide Omokere(Chairman and
founder of Energy Resources Group), Barrister Olatunde Ayeni(Chairman;
Sky bank plc), Sen Dino Melaye(Chairman senate committee on FCT),
Chief Kola Jamodu(Former PZ director), Chief.Mrs Atinuke Oyelude(1st
Miss Nigeria), Prof Eyitayo Lambo(Former minister for health), Chief
Bayo Ojo(Former attorney general & minister for justice), Major Gen
David Jemibewon(rtd) and other great patriots and nationalists of note
both locally and internationally too numerous to mention due to space
constraints, all accomplished in their choosing fields of endeavors as
well as contributed positively towards shaping Nigeria’s history in
one way or the other.

The extreme individualism, knee-jerk and short-sighted approach to
sensitive issues and lack of strategic thinking, foresight, tact and
diplomacy on the part of its so-called leaders, all have contributed
in no small measure to the present pathetic situation we found
ourselves, however the Federal Government should as a matter of
priority in the spirit of national reconciliation and healing, put in
place machinery in motion to address the obvious imbalance in this
In making these demands it should not be misconstrued to mean that the
Okun nation is begging for patronage or attention from the Federal
Government of Nigeria, but rather a genuine call for justice, fairness
and equity from a nation that has been unfairly treated and robed of
its fair share in the Nigerian Federation.

For justice and equity are prerequisite of peace in any social system.

Sent by Balogun Emmanuel Funsho, from University Of Ilorin.

He can be reached on 07034444976 or via

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