From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja.
A Group under the aegis of Kogi East Youth Alliance for Good Governance has said that “fielding Governor Yahaya Bello in the next Kogi governorship election will spell doom for any party that field him as a candidate as the entire Igalas have already rejected Bello”
The group also debunked the claim credited to the Ohinoyi of Ebira Land, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim that the Igalas have hijacked Governor Yahaya Bello to their advantage in the leadership of the state.
The group in a statement signed by its President, Mr. Desmond Anawo described the purported claim as not only an open indictment of the Igalas but frivolous, unfounded and misleading.
The group noted that such a statement from a highly respected Royal Majesty would amount to sowing seed of discord and fanning the embers of disunity between the Igalas and Ebiras.
The statement also observed that before the present political misadventure which has polarized the people along partisan lines, the Igalas and Ebiras have a long standing history of peaceful coexistence, adding that the Igalas and Ebiras have a proved and cherished history of common ancestral ties and affinity that should not be strained by anybody no matter how highly placed.
The statement further noted that as it is now in the state, “if it is true that the Igalas have hijacked Governor Bello’s administration, why is that there is no responsible illustrious sons and daughters of Igala extraction in the cabinet of the present government, but tout and balderdash.
The statement lamented that it is curiously unfortunate that the Igalas are being made to play the second fiddle under the current dispensation pointing out that going by the 1963 census the Igalas are the 9th largest ethnic group in Nigeria (with a dominant population of 56 per cent of the entire population of Kogi state).
The statement berated Governor Bello’s administration for being sectionalist and tribalistic in appointment of his own tribe’s men into strategic and sensitive positions leaving out the Igalas who are supposed to be the major beneficiary in the allocation of appointments.
The statement recalled the pains the Igalas suffered during the unending screening exercise in which 75 per cent of the Igalas on State/Local Government Employment were relieved of their appointments.
It called on the federal government to intervene as the security situation in Kogi East is alarming as people no longer sleep with their eyes closed.