By Adebimpe Abiodun
Ahead of the forthcoming election, a Pan Yoruba group, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) has asked political leaders in Kogi state to show ‘deep respect and honour’ for the principle of power rotation in a state dominated by three major ethic groups in which only one has been ruling the state since its creation in 1991.
In a statement made available to Irohinoodua this afternoon, the Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) said that since Kogi State was carved out of the old Kwara State in 1991, the Igala people have been ruling the state as if it’s their inherited fiefdom. “The Igala ruled for two years between 1992 and 1994. Since 1999, the past 17 years, Igala has been producing the governor of the state leaving the other ethnic groups with a wounded sense of marginalization.”
ONAC said the worst aspect is that the Igala has not served the state with an inspiring leader but has produced self-seeking demagogues that have left Kogi with a huge debt profile, unending violence, killings and economic ruin.”
Kogi’s major ethnic groups are Yoruba including Oworro and Ogori, Igala and Ebira. Igala has faced constant accusation of seeing the state as its ‘personal property’ using its share population to ‘humiliate and subdue’other ethnic groups, ONAC said.
ONAC in the statement signed by Mr Adekunle Agbana stated that “ethnic minorities often complain of marginalization at the national level. But experience has shown that when they themselves seize power, they are worst and are often bloody in their desperation to keep on to power.”
ONAC cited the case of Benue State where the Tiv has been in power since the state’s creation in 1991 and in Kwara where the Fulani who are barely 10 percent of the population have had to determine who will lead the state. ONAC also refer to the government of ousted President Goodluck Jonathan saying that it was the first time an Ijaw person would rule Nigeria but that the opportunity was grossly abused as Jonathan’s main focus was to build a Nigeria trampled under the armpit of Ijaw hegemony.
He said that at present in Kogi State, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has adopted the current governor, an Igala, Idris Wada as its sole candidate, regretting that the All Progressive Congress, (APC) is also under tremendous pressure to field another Igala person, Chief Abubakar Audu as its gubernatorial candidate.
“There is a bitter anger and fury going on in Kogi at the moment. Other ethnic groups are angry and feel wounded with a deep cut. If either the PDP or APC wins, it will mean that Kogi will be under Igala domination and misrule for 21 years. What is going on in Kogi State is despotism and lack of sensitivity to the principle of fairness. This is bound to spur instability and unending disenchantment in Kogi State for a long time.”