Save Kogi from tyranny of majority
SIR: Most of us who initially supported the creation of Kogi State in 1991 were of the opinion that the former Kabba province with historical Lokoja as headquarters would meet the long expected aspiration of the people.
Some of us who were not born and bred at home held the opinion that with the creation of a state at the confluence of River Niger and Benue, everyone would live a good life. One of my late brothers – Chief J.K. Bodunde who retired as Federal Director of Information had a contrary opinion on the grounds that the East senatorial District of Igala would dominate others and instead wanted Okun to join its kith and kin in Kwara State. His fear of possible marginalization of minority within minority has come to pass. Policies of greed and avarice of Igala leadership has brought untold hardship not only to the West but Kogi Central.
The cries of lack of development I grew up to know when in 1959 I was taken home in Form Four for the first time at the age of 17 from Ile-Ife through Omuo – boundary town of Western State and the North – remains.
The then Northern regional government under Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello was blamed for the underdevelopment despite payment of taxes by the people.
Similar situation is obtainable in Ebiraland (Central Senatorial District). Our renowned Okun leaders like Chief Sunday Awoniyi, Chief Silas Daniyan, Ebira leaders including Abdulrahman Okene, the Attas became toothless bulldogs that could not bite. Hopes of both districts were dashed after creation of Kogi State by the tyranny of the so-called majority.
With the opportunity of card readers by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to check malpractice in election, the West and Central must unite to cope with the turbulent winds of adversity. Unity and love are the essential ingredients basic to any group of people who desire to make progress collectively.
Lopsided distribution of federal and state owned institutions have become an open sore with denial of federal presence in the mentioned areas. Both districts must prune their candidates to a maximum of two or adopt a consensus flagbearer using factors such as credibility, probability of acceptance statewide, records of past service and the capacity to mobilize adequate resources for political action in the primaries.
Knowing well that Igala votes alone cannot produce the East a governor, only the unity of West and Central would stop what Dr. Tom Adaba described as: “Marginalization Tsunami”. Kogi State should be politically stable, solidly integrated and commercially vibrant under West and Central leadership.
• Ajayi Memaiyetan,