Ijumu is an autonomous local government area in Western Senatorial District of Kogi State with the projected population of 160,100 spread over an area of 1,490 square kilometers. Ijumu is grouped into three historical and administrative units i.e. Gbede in the north, Ijumu Arin in the middle, and Ijumu Oke in the south. The administrative headquarters of Ijumu Kingdom and Ijumu Local Government Area is in Iyara in Ijumu Arin Axis. Available records show that Ijumu Local Government Area was first created in the year 1982 by the then Kwara State Governor, Late Alhaji Adamu Attah. Before this time, Late Chief Joshua Olorundare Nihi from Ayegunle Gbede (Gbede Axis) of Ijumu Local Government Area once served as Chairman of the old Oyi Local Government Area. Also, Chief Babajide from Ekinrin Adde (Ijumu Arin Axis) of Ijumu Local Government Area had once served as Acting Chairman of old Oyi Local Government Area too.

After the creation of Ijumu Local Government Area in the year 1982, Prince Dare Reuben Owonibi from Ayetoro Gbede (Gbede Axis) who was the son of the Late Olujumu of Ijumu, Oba Jacob Owonibi was appointed the Chairman during the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) led-administration in Kwara State. Pa Chief S O Atolaye from Iffe (Ijumu-Arin Axis) emerged as Chairman in the year 1983 during the Cornelius Olatunji Adebayo Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) led-administration for three months before the military led by General Muhammadu Buhari took over power in December 1983 thus Ijumu Local Government Area was merged with Kabba/Bunu to form what was known as Bunu/Ijumu/Kabba Local Government Area. The old Bunu/Ijumu/Kabba Local Government Area was first headed by Architect Olutimayin from Bunu Axis in the present Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State. Under Bunu/Ijumu/Kabba Local Government Area with the creation of two political party system political party of National Republican Convention (NRC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP), an Ijumu man, Chief Malomo Sadiku from Ayetoro Gbedde (Gbede Axis) of Ijumu who contested under National Republican Convention (NRC) and won the election but was removed from office at an election petition tribunal on a charge based on tax problem.

Shortly, Ijumu was re-created in 1991, Dr. Chief (Mrs) Grace Gunwa from Ayere (Ijumu Oke Axis) was appointed the Sole Administrator of the new Ijumu Local Government Area Council. In the same year, Barrister John Ajewole from Ayetoro Gbede (Gbede Axis) was elected as the Executive Chairman of the Council. At the election petition tribunal, Barr. Ajewole’s tenure was truncated when the election petition case ended and Deacon (Chief) John Olayemi Folorunsho from Ayegunle Gbede (Gbede Axis) was appointed the Caretaker Chairman sometime in 1991. However, Barr. Ajewole won his case at the Appeal Court in Kaduna and returned as the Chairman immediately. In April 1994, Chief Gideon K.O Ogunmuyiwa from Ikoyi (Ijumu Arin Axis) was appointed Caretaker Chairman under the General Sani Abacha regime. Hon. S.O Fagbemi from Iyah Gbede (Gbede Axis) took over power from Chief Gideon K.O Ogunmuyiwa. Hon. Major David Ibilola from Ayetoro Gbede (Gbede Axis) was appointed as the Caretaker Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area Council in 1996. Thereafter, Hon. Samuel Abiodun Ojo from Egbeda Egga (Ijumu Oke Axis) was elected the Chairman under the zero-party system in the year 1996. Barr. S.M Ologe from Iyah Gbede (Gbede Axis) was elected Executive Chairman under the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1997. Hon. Chris Enefola, an Igala Man from Kogi East Senatorial District was appointed the Sole Administrator in-charge of Ijumu Local Government Area Council by the Kogi State Government in the year 1998.

After the return of democractic system of government in Nigeria in the year 1999, Hon. Malomo Omonuwa (Gbelura) from Iyara (Ijumu Arin Axis) was elected Executive Chairman under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Mr. Odoma from Kogi East Senatorial District was appointed as Sole Administrator in 2003 and he handed over to another Igala man, Alhaji Abdulsalam who was appointed as Sole Administrator in the same year. Hon. Stephen Bamidele Abodunde, a former Member of House of Representatives from Ayegunle Gbede was appointed as Caretaker Chairman in-charge of Ijumu Local Government in 2004. Hon Fehinti Dada from Ogidi (Ijumu Oke Axis) was elected the Executive Chairman under the umbrella of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the year 2004. In the year 2007, Hon. Funsho Olumoko from Ekinrin Adde (Ijumu Arin Axis) was appointed the Caretaker Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area Council. Late Deacon (Hon.) Joseph Adeyemi Owotogbe from Araromi Gbede (Gbede Axis) was appointed as Caretaker Chairman and Hon. Dare Osawu from Iyah Gbede (Gbede Axis) took over from him in 2008. Again, Late Deacon (Hon.) Joseph Adeyemi Owotogbe from Araromi Gbede (Gbede Axis) was elected Executive Chairman under the same party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in 2008. Mrs. B.N Musa from Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State took over from Late Deacon (Hon.) Owotogbe in the year 2012. Again, Hon. Funsho Olumoko from Ekinrin Adde (Ijumu Arin Axis) was appointed Liaison Officer 1 of Ijumu Local Government Area Council in the year 2012. Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi from Igala land was took over the power in the year 2013. Dr. Remi Odutola from Iyamoye (Ijumu Arin Arin) was elected the Executive Chairman under the umbrella of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013. Alhaji Taufiq A. Isa from Odokoro Gbede (Gbede Axis) was appointed the Sole Administrator of Ijumu Local Government Area Council in 2016 by the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello.

With the above information, it’s obvious that there is existing power rotational arrangement and power-sharing formula of political, social and traditional offices like the office of the Council Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area Council, the stool of Olujumu of Ijumu Kingdom, office of the National President of Ijumu Development Union, office of the National President of Ijumu Students’ Union etc. As a result of this long-term mutual understanding, arrangement, and/or agreement, Ijumu has witnessed a lot of progress, growth, and development. Of a truth, the need to sustain the existing rotational arrangement and agreement as stated above cannot be overemphasized. Also, it’s clear that it’s the turn of the people from Ijumu Oke Axis to produce the next Executive Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area Council and not Gbede Axis. With this, the next Chairman of Ijumu Local Government should come from either Aduge, Ayere, Egbeda Egga, Ogale or Ogidi. I am saying this because the Local Government Council Election in Kogi State is coming up on the 12th of December, 2020 and it’s expected of Ijumu people to come out to elect the man who will be at the helms of the affairs of our local government in the next three years or so. As a group of people, we must all stand up, face the challenges, and support our brothers and sisters in Ijumu Oke Axis in order to realize this dream on Saturday as doing that will give them sense of belonging, promote peaceful co-existence among Ijumu people, and enhance progress in Ijumu Kingdom.

Sincerely speaking, our collective decision on Saturday, the 12th of December, 2020 will go a long way in determining the extent we can sustain our togetherness, mutual respect, and understanding of each other. We must sustain the existing culture of power rotation, power-sharing in Ijumu Kingdom and not otherwise. Ijumu Kingdom is bigger than an individual, group of people and/or political party.

God bless Ijumu Kingdom
God bless Kogi State
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria

By:
Yusuf Adeyanju Yisau, MPR, ANIPR, MIMMA,
Ayegunle Gbede, Ijumu Local Gov’t Area, Kogi State.
08032920298 / 08055980811
yusufadeyanjuyisau2000@gmail.com


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