The people of Kogi Western Senatorial District in Kogi State have intensified their agitation to produce the next governor of the state in 2023. AMUDA DAN SULAIMAN FAB, Publisher/Editor, reports on the prospects of this agitation.
The push by the people of Kogi West in Kogi State towards the realisation of their dream of having one of them govern the state intensified during the week with more groups and individuals giving reasons why the zone deserves to produce the next governor of the state in 2023.
The Lokoja Solidarity Movement (LSM) also lent its voice to the clamour for a Kogi West governor. The group however advised leaders of the zone to reach out to their colleagues in other zones of the state to make the quest a smooth sail.
Another group that raised the clamour for the Kogi Western Senatorial District to be given the chance to produce Governor Yahaya Bello’s successor is the Okun Hope Rising Association (OHRA). The group, after its meeting in Abuja last Tuesday, enjoined leaders of the two frontline political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to zone the governorship tickets of their parties to Kogi West in 2023. The group recalled that since the creation of the state in 1991, no Kogi West person had been governor.
In a communiqué read by Idowu Michael, OHRA National Chairman, said there is an urgent need to listen to the agitation of the people of Kogi West. “It is now very important for us to sit back and consider the cries of the people of Kogi West. Since the creation of our dear state, the Kogi East and Central have been producing the governors of the state. Understandably, Kogi East is the largest tribe here with an overwhelming majority, but there is a need for us to ensure equity in the interest of peaceful coexistence. We are one people and we can give and take easily,” the group said.
In its own statement, the Kogi Progressive Union, KPU, said, “Our quest for the emergence of a Kogi governor from Kogi West in 2023 is founded on our search for equity and fairness in the administration of our dear state. With that will also come equal growth and development of all sections of the state. It is important to say that membership of our group is not made up of only the people from Kogi West. Ours is a platform for all Kogi people. We have Igala, Ebira Okun and others as our members. However, we are convinced that for lasting peace in Kogi State, we must allow a Kogi West man or woman to govern us in 2023.”
Few weeks back, the Lokoja/ Koton-Karfe People’s Forum, in a well attended town hall meeting, added its voice to the agitation when it enjoined the people of the state to support a candidate from Lokoja/ Koton-Karfe to become the governor of the state in 2023. It also appealed to political leaders in the state to summon courage and support someone from Lokoja/Koton-Karfe to become the governor so as to build an all-inclusive Kogi State. “We need to break that jinx in 2023. Since 1991, Kogi is yet to produce a governor from Lokoja/Koton-Karfe,” the group said.
“Today, we stand on behalf of the good people of Lokoja and Koton-Karfe federal Constituency to say, “as we all know, a defining feature of Nigeria politics has always been the struggle between majority and minority ethnic groups. The majority ethnic groups of Igala, Ebira and Okun have dominated the minority and this has created imbalance in the political system. The many minority groups affected with this imbalance include, Egbura Koto, Nupe, Kupa, Bassa’Nge, Oworo, Gwari, Ogori/Magongo, Bassa-Komu and Hausa community in the state.
“These minority groups have been largely ignored in the political consideration in the state as the Igala tribe have ruled for about 18 years while Ebiras will complete 8 years by 2024.
“The Okuns have had their own share in acting capacity and the same set of ethnic groups have been rotating the position of Deputy Governor since the creation of the state.
Speaking on the development, Lokoja Development Association, LDA, said the chances that the state will get a Lokoja/Koton-Karfe man as governor in 2023 are very bright.
“The responses to our agitations from political leaders and elder statesmen are encouraging. Also, similar power shifts from majority to minority ethnic groups or between senatorial districts have occurred in many other states. Some of these include Plateau, Niger, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, among others. If it can happen there in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds, it can also happen in Kogi State,” the group said.
And as pressures from the Lokoja/Koton-Karfe people persist, Barrister Shaba Ibrahim, member representing Lokoja/Kogi Federal Constituency, recently advised the people on how to go about their agitation. According to the Lawmaker, “it is possible for Lokoja/Koton-Karfe to produce the next governor if the leaders continued to reach out to their counterparts in other zones. He added that it would only take the consensus of other zones for a Lokoja/Koton-Karfe governorship to materialise in 2023.
“Governorship is a consensus thing and I believe that the elders are reaching out. It’s not a decision that one person can sit down and take, ” he added.