Kogi West Should Produce Next Governor – Jemibewon

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Jemibewon have said that Kogi West should produce next governor.

Kogi West Should Produce Next Governor - Jemibewon

Kogi West Elders Forum (KWEF), led by General David Jemibewon, is calling for power shift to the senatorial district in 2023. Deputy Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the prospects and constraints.

According to The Nation report, Kogi West Elders’ Forum (KWEF) are agitating for power shift to Kogi West Senatorial District in 2023.

There may be a justification for it. Since the state was created in 1991, the seat has eluded the district. Therefore, the elders, led by Gen. David Jemibewon, hinged their clamour on the need to uphold fairness, justice and peace.

They also said in a statement that power rotation to the district will foster a sense of belonging and enhance unity in the diverse state.

Put succinctly, Kogi West stakeholders are appealing to the Igala ethnic group to concede the seat. If population or other ethnic considerations are the deciding factor, the numerical strength of the Igalas will always sustain them in power.

The district has footings in the two major parties-All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It therefore, means it can only profit maximally from zoning, if the two main parties decide to pick their governorship candidates from the district in 2023.

Sources said Governor Yahaya Bello is disposed to power shift to the West, which is predominantly Yoruba. It is could not be ascertained whether the PDP is also looking in the direction of the acclaimed marginalised Kabba/Ijumu axis.

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These Yoruba-northerners became a sort of minority group, when they were lumped together with the North by the British, who administratively severed the chord between them and their kith and kin in the Southwest.

Kogi has produced Governor Shaba Lafiagi, Ibrahim Idris, Idris Wada and Bello. None of them is from the West. In the Second Republic, an Ebira, Adamu Attah, ruled the old Kwara State. He was succeeded by Senator Cornelius Adebayo. He only spent three months in office before he was kicked out by the military.

Since then, efforts by the West to produce a governor has been futile.

In a statement titled: ‘A call for Power Rotation in Kogi State,’ signed by the KWEF chairman, General Jemibewon, the group alluded to what it described as the prevailing power imbalance in Kogi State among the three districts of Kogi East, Kogi Central and Kogi West, and its implications for future political alignments in the state.

The forum objected to the skewed political power play in the state, saying that it had denied the people of the West, despite their good intention and active participation in previous elections.

The elders lamented that Kogi West has not produced governor since the state was created in1991.

They pointed out that In contrast, the East and Central have occupied the seat for about 21 years now, and 25 years by the time Governor Yahaya Bello leaves office in 2023.

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The elders urged political parties to consider governorship candidates from for Kogi West senatorial district in 2023.

The statement reads: “We reject running mates in all political parties in the West.

“Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello, and all political actors in the state should take conscious note of this demand and support every arrangement that will meet the aspiration.

“All political parties in the West Senatorial District must endeavour to work together to stimulate actions that would produce credible candidate(s) leading to their primaries in the state.

“All political parties in this regard must, however align with the Eastern and Central Senatorial Districts of the state to accomplish the objective by working to produce a governorship candidate that will be acceptable to flanks of the state in the 2023 governorship election.

“The forum wishes to remind his Excellency of our unalloyed support during the last election when we made a public statement that endorsed his re-election based on our insight that he was a democrat, courageous and would honour our modest agitation for power rotation in the state.

“As an aspiring president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the governor needs to more than before demonstrate his support for an enduring power sharing and restructuring arrangement at the grassroots level in Kogi State and then Nigeria as widely conversed by all critical and discerning minds in Nigeria.

“This demonstration will show the infallible strength of good character and integrity he poses to lead a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.

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“Kogi West Senatorial District has embellished numbers of qualified candidates that are loyal to His Excellency and that understands the need for good governance that will benefit every part of the state.

“Governor Bello must not allow individual or group of people to lead the state back to the woods when the whipping of sentiment, pettiness and selfishness of interest groups influenced previous administrations to be parochial in the management of the power equation among the various ethinic groups in the state.

“The governor must speak out now to support power equity and measured balance in favour of Kogi West Senstorial District to complete his administration principle of EBIGO,which has been popularised to manage the power-sharing complexity of our Confluence State.”

According to analysts, power shift to the West may remain a tall order, unless the two zones-Kogi Central and South-agree to endorse the principle of rotation. Therefore, the Jemibewon group has to lobby other ethnic groups for the dream to become a reality.