Okun people of Kogi West senatorial district have demanded the zoning of the governorship seat of the state in 2023 to the district. They also asked the state government to establish a university in their area, as have been established in the two other districts.
They made the demand in a statement by the president general of Okun Development Association (ODA), Femi Mokikan, which he issued on Thursday on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the creation of Kogi State.
According to the statement, the district is the only one that has not produced a governor since the creation of the state in 1991.
“On the 2023 governorship election, for the purpose of equity, fairness and justice, the time has come for Okun land and Kogi West to present the next Governor of Kogi State. As a matter of fact, The Igalas have produced three different Governors namely, Late Prince Abubakar Audu, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Captain Idris Ichala Wada while Ebiras are presently occupying the Lugard House for the second term.
“More than 30 years now, the Okun people are the most marginalised major ethnic group in Kogi State in the area of employment, appointment, project execution until recently when there was paradigm shift in the present administration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State.
“On assumption of office, the governor introduced a policy known as “EBIGO AGENDA”, meaning Ebira, Igala and Okun Agenda. This primary purpose of introducing EBIGO was to promote unity and oneness of the Government and people of Kogi State with the sole aim of portraying the interest of Kogi first above individual or selfish interest.
“Without an iota of doubt, the EBIGO agenda is commendable and one of the best move of the New Direction Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as it has confirmed that Kogi State belongs to all, Igalas, Ebiras and Okuns as against the claims of some quarters in the past.
“Worthy of note and encomiums is the institutionalisation of this agenda in the area of appointments (both civil service and political), allocation and execution of projects. This is why Okun people will continue to be grateful to Kogi Governor for the establishment of one of largest Rice Mill in Ejiba, Yagba West Local Government Area.
“Also, in the health sector, we are glad with the ongoing construction work at Isanlu General Hospital,
Yagba East LGA, while the rehabilitation of the Kabba township road is no doubt a step in the right direction.
“As Kogi State Celebrates its 30 years of creation, it important to state that Okun is lacking behind as it is the only Area in the State without a university as the East has the Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba while the Central has the New Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara.
“This is why we’re appealing to the State Government to as a matter of fact establish a university in Okun land to justify the equity, fairness and justice that form the mantras of the present administration.
“We also appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently sign into law the bill establishing Federal University of Agriculture, Kabba as done for some states in Nigeria recently.
“At this Juncture, we implore our people in Kabba-Bunu, Ijumu, Mopa/Amuro, Yagba East and West Local Government Areas as well as Oworo land to come out en-masse and participate in the Voters registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“If we want continue to maintain the current political participation, it won’t speak well for us and our children in future. We call on our people in Diaspora to motivate their children of 18 years and above to register for their PVCs at their respective LGAs. This is because we need to increase our voting strength.
“For the EBIGO Agenda of this Administration to be institutionalized for even posterity sake, the next Gubernatorial Candidate should be zoned to Kogi West. By so doing, Governor Yahaya Bello will be leaving a legacy of unity that informed the introduction of the Ebira, Igala and Okun Agenda.
“Finally, we congratulate the governor on the 30th Anniversary of the state and our prayer is that God grant him the wisdom and good health to do more for the state.”
Kogi State is expected to elect a new governor in 2023 to succeed Governor Bello who will be rounding off his constitutionally allowerd two-terms of eight years in office by then.