2023: THE EMERGENCE OF ODODO AND EVENT OF HISTORY ON THE PART OF IGALAS.
By Hon Dr Onujabe Nasir.
History in any form is a good omen to mankind since is a reminder of the past, preservation of the present for future purposes.
It provides opportunity for the younger generation to trace the path of their actions and know how to live peacefully and harmoniously in a heterogeneous society like ours.
I read with disdain and loss of humour many write-ups and voice messages by some Igala extraction who may probably not privy to the political history behind Kogi State creation from the old Kwara and Benue states by Gen.Babngida’s Administration in 1991.
During the agitations for state creation our dear Igala brothers were asking for Okura state whilst the Okuns and Ebiras demanded for Kogi State. However, Kogi State got created amongst other state in 1991.
*RATIONALE BEHIND STATE CREATION.*
Ever before the creation of new states several ethnic nationalities in most other states were having one complaints or the other about marginalisation and deprivation of sort. To lay this to rest the Babangida’s administration thought it wise to create new states with a view to bringing together ethic nationalities with ancient traditional backgrounds for brotherhood and smooth governance devoid of marginalisation and sentiments. On this note Ebira nation came to Kogi State with clean hands and open heart for brotherly relationship with other two ethnic groups(Igala and Okun) people as envisaged in the rationale for the state creation.
Upon the creation of Kogi State the Igalas were quiet and unperturbed about the governorship position in the state, all their joy then was a perpetual relief they’d gotten from the Tivs through the creation of the State. The Tivs no doubt super dominated them to the extent that they (Igalas) voluntarily abandoned their offices for the fear of unknown at the heights of provocation.
*LEADERSHIP MOVEMENT IN KOGI STATE*
Kogi leadership from the onset was favourable to the Igalas through military fiat since the first sole Administrator appointed ( Col Afakriya) was of Igala lineage.
On the political alignment the governorship position was ceded to them by Ebira nation on a platter of gold without them asking for it. The two major candidates, Dr Steven Achema (SDP) and prince Abubakar Audu (NRC) were seriously supported by Ebira political pundits as against S B Daniyan an Okun man in opposition to igala candidacy. Ebira nation and Okun people were at daggers drum against each other over the survival of the Igalas political dynasty.
We (Ebira) told ourselves that we’ve served as governor in the old Kwara that we will continue with the state chairmanship positions we came with from old Kwara. This was from a pure clean heart of an Ebira nation to a brother in a newly created state.
The gentleman agreement which was reached then on power rotation was thrown to the winds by the Igalas after tasting power in the newly created state of Kogi.
The Igalas kept handing over power to themselves claiming that until it goes round to all their local governments before they will think of relinquishing it to any other tribe if there was need for such but failed to realize the existence of “extraneous external factors” which they may not have control over which indeed occured in 2015 that brought in GYB.
*IGALA’S STEWARDSHIP TO EBIRA NATION IN ITS 16 YRS RULE*
It is very disheartening and dehumanizing that the zone we suffered to project and propelled to fame came back to whipped us with political big stick.
The first set back suffered by Ebira nation was in the civil service sector of the state where the Igala holds workforce of over 21,000 while Ebira was on less than 3,000. Social amenities was a blackout vis-a-vis health care system, education, road network etc.
They introduced political feudalism on the land for several years without state intervention to quench the crisis, as if these were not enough our only specialist hospital was stripped naked and reduced to mere building after Prince Abubakar Audu had removed all the world standard equipment from there and installed them at Obonicha hospital in Igalaland.
No state university satellite campus on our land as we were totally left to our fate. These were what Ebira got from the 16yrs of rule by the Igalas.
But when GYB came on board they had catalogue of government present in their zone. Record never lie.
*THE CALL FOR GANGSTERISM*
It is fool hardy to hear that a zone that has enjoyed unbroken 16yrs rule is calling for a gang up against the fingers that fed them. In their hay days nothing was wrong in their continuous occupation of Lugard House but have suddenly become born again after loosing grip of power in the last 8yrs.
As earlier said in my previous write-ups that the unbroken 16 yrs tenure by the Igalas have become a norm and precedent to thread upon by other zones in the state by serving their own 16yrs before it can return to Kogi east again. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.
For a quick reminder to the Igalas, there was no time the Okuns and Ebira gang up to stop Igala dominance or carryout a protest vote for that matter. If by today the Igalas are calling for a gang up or protest vote it clearly shows they’re still living in the past and failed to drop their selfish traits.
*POLITICAL SUICIDE MISSION BY THE IGALAS*
When a self acclaimed celebrated termites want to show excessive glory it will fly into flame of fire🔥 and ends its life out of pride and self deceit.
One can see this coming to the Igalas who perhaps are in illusion and hallucination of population figure and jump into fire to end their political life.
There are a lot to learn from the just concluded Presidential election as we’ve seen and witnessed a particular candidate harping on the population density of a particular region to win election while the other one was on illusion of numerical strength of a particular faith to clinch power but in the end they were all disappointed and yet to recover from their electoral loses.
The call for tribal vote by the Igalas is totally uncalled for and unwanted since they are the first tribe to take the first shot of 16 yrs rule and preaching against it today still amount to greed, deceitful and playing on the intelligence of other tribes from Kogi West and Central zones.
From the forgoing and analysis I herewith call on the living legends that witnessed the political history line of 1991 – 2015 to advise the new generation and the greedy one ones among them to sincerely reciprocate the good gestures of Ebira nation to the Igalas political dynasty by voting en masse for the APC and Ododo for posterity to be kind to them. Kogi state has become the bride of the nation which need to be aligned to the party at the centre for mutual benefits and attention.
The Igalas are to some extent the traditional home of PDP yet the party flag bearer wasn’t ceded to the zone, could it be that GYB imposed Dino on them too?. This is purely the handiwork of God in reorganizing the state to accommodate every ethnic nationality on power rotation agenda which the Igalas refused to fly in the first place.
Kogi State have outgrown gangsterism and comedian governor who always align himself to the torrential tree climbing species. Kogi state is for corporate and dynamic leader that can maintain decorum at all time of the day and take responsibility for the generality of Kogites.
May God help Kogi State and Nigeria as a Country.