The people of Kogi West Senatorial District particularly those of the Okun division have called for greater participation in running the affairs of the state.
This was made known in a statement issued on Thursday by the President, Okun Development Association, Femi Mokikan, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Kogi government.
According to him, the Okun people of Kogi state are less represented in politics and remain the only area lacking a university.
Mokikan said the establishment of an initiative, “EBIGO AGENDA” which mean Ebira, Igala and Okun Agenda, would promote unity and oneness of the government and people of Kogi State
He, however, called on the governor to ensure equity, fairness and justice by zoning the governorship ticket to Okun land and the Kogi West Senatorial District.
The statement reads, “Okun people are the Yoruba speaking part of Kogi State in North Central Nigeria. We were included during the Creation of Kogi in 1991 from Kwara State alongside Ebira people while the Igalas came from Benue State.
“Although history has made it empirically clear that Okun people migrated from Ile Ife, we met ourselves in Kogi in North Central Nigeria which made us to be called northerners.
“More than 30 years now, the Okun people are the most marginalised major ethnic group in Kogi State in the area of employment, appointment, project execution until recently when there was a paradigm shift in the present administration.
”On assumption of office, the Governor introduced a policy known as “EBIGO AGENDA” meaning Ebira, Igala and Okun Agenda. This primary purpose of introducing EBIGO was to promote unity and oneness of the Government and people of Kogi State with the sole aim of portraying the interest of Kogi first above individual or selfish interest.
“Without an iota of doubt, the EBIGO agenda is commendable and one of the best move of the New Direction Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as it has confirmed that Kogi State belongs to all, Igalas, Ebiras and Okuns as against the claims of some quarters in the past.
“As Kogi State Celebrates its 30 years of creation, it important to state that Okun is lacking behind as it is the only area in the State without a University as the East has the Prince Abubakar Audu University, Anyigba while the Central has the New Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara.
“This is why we’re appealing to the state government to as a matter of fact establish a university in Okun land to justify the equity, fairness and justice that form the mantra of the present administration.
“We also appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently sign into law the bill establishing the Federal University of Agriculture, Kabba as done for some states in Nigeria recently.
”At this juncture, we implore our people in Kabba-Bunu, Ijumu, Mopa/Amuro, Yagba East and West Local Government Areas as well as Oworo land to come out en masse and participate in the Voters registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“If we want to continue to maintain the current political participation, it won’t speak well for us and our children in future. We call on our people in Diaspora to motivate their children of 18 years and above to register for their PVCs at their respective LGAs. This is because we need to increase our voting strength.
“On the 2023 Governorship election, for the purpose of equity, fairness and justice the time has come for Okun land and Kogi West to present the next Governor of Kogi State. As a matter of fact, The Igalas have produced three different Governors namely, Late Prince Abubakar Audu, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris and Captain Idris Ichala Wada while Ebiras are presently occupying the Lugard House for the second term.”