ELECTION: Honour your words, support power shift to Kogi West – Elders forum tells Gov. Bello
By Boluwaji Obahopo, LOKOJA
The Kogi West Elders Forum (KWEF) has called on the state governor, Yahaya Bello to honour his word of supporting a candidate from the zone to succeed him in the next election.
The forum said the governor had in time past while holding audience with the group promise to follow the pact of Justice, fairness and equity in the affairs of the state, and their is no better means to prove this than in the next election.
The West Senatorial district has never had a chance to govern the state since its creation in 1999. While the east has held power for seventeen years the Central will be completing eight years in office by January 27, 2024.
Speaking in Lokoja on Thursday, Secretary of the forum, Dr. Tunde Arosayin said, “Your Excellency, you will agree with us that the issue of Power Rotation among the three Senatorial districts in the state has been on the front burner of the agenda of political elites especially in the Kogi Central and Kogi West before the general election of 2015. This has remained the focus of our main discussion with you since your first interaction with KWEF members before the GOVERNORSHIP election in Kogi State in 2019.
“You will also recall that, apart from the fact that you played an active role in the agitation for a power shift either to the Central or Western part of the state culminating in the election of 2015, you also made commendable efforts to address the lopsided nature of power equation in the state by introducing the EBIRA- IGALA- OKUN (EBIGO) as a correctional mantra that brought about justice and fair play in the political appointment and other matters in the three Senatorial districts when you became the governor of the state.
“Similarly, in our previous interaction with you as KWEF you had promised to engage with critical stakeholders of our Senatorial district, to facilitate a transition that would promote justice, equity, and fairness in the political arrangement and governance of the state going forward.
“It is against this background that the forum thought it necessary to engage with you at this time – when your administration is winding down and preparing for the primaries election in April 2023.
“Our concern at this time is hinged on the fact that a few weeks before the primary election, we have not seen anything to rejuvenate our hope in our main objective of a power shift.
“It has therefore became imperative to suggest to you that you take the necessary steps to support a Kogi West candidate during the next GOVERNORSHIP election of the state in November 2023 in the spirit of Justice, fairness, equity and peaceful coexistence among the three flanks in the state; Ebira, Okun and Igala majority tribes.
“It is needless to say that since the creation of the state, four governors have emerged under the Democractic dispensation in Nigeria and none has come from the Western flank of the state.
“We are not calling for the imposition of any candidate from Kogi West on the state. What we are calling for is your wholesome support for a competent, trusted, detrabilized, and effective governor from Kogi West that would succeed you in office, in November 2023. KOGI West has an abundance of such qualified people from whom you are at liberty to pick as your successor and we promise to support the candidate.
“This reminder is integral because you are the leader of your party and the principal actor to execute a legitimate succession plan for the state. It has therefore become imperative to remind you to beam your searchlight on the Kogi West to improve upon the achievements of your erstwhile administration.
“We believe that the reward of good is good just as we believe that Kogi West Senatorial district has paid it’s dues and request, not from the point of entitlement, but that of Justice, equity, and fairness.
“Your Excellency should stand up to support this agitation instead of allowing faceless groups to stand logic on its head in their bid to destabilize the state.”