By Ojochide Augustine |
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Life‘s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy– Martins Luther King. 1929–1968.
These words on the marble by one of the greatest known legends is apt in the present situation, of the people from the Eastern Zone of Kogi State. The Igala Nàtion, with overwhelming majority in Kogi, in the state they supposed to be major players has been marginalised. Igala with over two million people and with a geographical land mass of almost the half of the state has been reduced to a second class citizens of the state.
Both in the civil service and in public appointments, they have been, and are being relegated and demonised. Considerate portfolios are off their sleeves. Key political appointments are only meant for the new masters in the state. Positions hitherto occupied by the Igala sons and daughters are being taken away from them and given to others.
In the three arms of government in the state; namely, Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary, the Igalas are mere passengers. In the Legislature, the Speaker, Clerk of the House and Chairman , Assembly Service Commission are all from the other districts, leaving Igala to lick her wound in the open. On issues that require legislative backing before it could be decided, Kogi East is left in limbo. As it is with the Executive and Legislature, so it is with the Judiciary.
The office of the Chief Judge of the state is being alternated between the Central and Western zones. The late Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajana was succeeded by Justice Henry Adebola Olusiyi from Kogi West and when his turn expired, Justice Sunday Otu from Kogi Central took over, who in less than three months time will hand over back to another judge from the West and the chain will continue through out the tenure of the present government.
The Igala people have cried over the unhealthy marginalisation and nobody seemed to hear them. Those who should speak truth to power have washed their hands off Igala affairs.
The Igala Nàtion had produced in successions three former governors, national party chairmen and great players of political and economic lives of the nation. They have returned to their cocoon. The embarrassing situation of their brothers and sisters in the state is no longer their business.
The Igala Nàtion is in disarray. No known leader to galvernise and spur the people to action. They have refused to organise the people to prepare for the next election that will reshape the political and economic destiny of the zone.
Their lethargy has made the masses to ask God to send back the Late Stephen Omakoji Achema to redeem the people. Although it is impossible for him to return from the other world, the people have searched , and they were convinced that although his match may be hard to find, one person who in the conviction of the generality of the people to take over the mantle is no other person than Alhaji Aminu Suleiman Abubakar.
Abubakar, a Quantity Surveyor of international repute and a politician is unarguably the man with the capacity, compassion competency, credibility and charisma that can salvage the Igala Nàtion from its present predicament.
He has all that is required to bail the zone out of the quagmire. He has the connections; he has the resources and political network that cut across the length and breath of the Igala kingdom and some zones that have goodwill for our cause.
What we need at this time of our political crossroads is to take stock of why we are where we are and what should be done to return power to the zone.
We must forge common front in choosing who has the pedigree to wrestle power for us. We should discourage multitude of aspirants. We should come out with our best only. No where in the world that power is gotten on the platter of gold but through systematic planning and execution of programmes. We lost the last election to negligence and docility. Nobody wanted to step down for another person. Everybody believed he will win. No leadership that will give direction. The zone became a ship without a rudder and so we all have lost out.
Without mincing words ,let us in earnest begin to have conversation with Aminu Abubakar Suleiman to throw himself up for the Igala project.
We should forget about ego and rivalry and begin to chart a way forward for a zone that was once the determinant of Kogi State politics. We have done it before, when the late Dr. Steven Omakoji Achema gave instructions for all Igala sons and daughters irrespective of party affiliations to queue behind late Prince Abubakar Audu his proactive action gave Igala the advantage in winning the 1999 governorship.
Although, Achema is no longer with us today, it is our plea for people of goodwill to come out to give direction to our people in our quest to return power to the zone . It is possible if we collectively have seen our flaws that denied us our power. We can do it and we call on every one to consider the “Project Return Power to Base“ as his or her own , using Alhaji Aminu Abubakar Suleiman as the arrow head.
– Augustine is a journalist based in Abuja