Rising from its inauguration of Ukomu Igala, a socio-cultural organization of Igala nation, Kaduna State chapter, at the weekend, the leaders from the eastern senatorial zone of Kogi State have rejected endorsement of the State governor, Yahaya Bello, for the second term in office.
Kogi State governorship election is scheduled for November 16.
Speaking at the inauguration of officials of the organization, one of the leaders, Samuel Salifu, who delivered a paper at the event, said the decision to reject Bello was a collective one.
The people also warned that Bello should not set their paramount ruler, Atta Idakwo Ameboni against his own subjects in order to divide the people for political interest.
Salifu said: “The Ukomu Igala therefore, rejects in its entirety, the present situation where the Governor of Kogi State would hoodwink our traditional rulers to go and endorsement him before the Nigerian president. We are equally grateful for the president’s response. How do you expect the Igala people to endorse a governor who styles himself as the white lion, who has refused to pay workers’ salaries for upwards of 28 months, who goes about boasting that the average Igala man’s wife can be purchased for as little as N6.000.00, or a governor who brutally and senselessly boasts that no Igala man can contest the governorship with him, a governor who cannot fix the streets of Lokoja – the state capital. A young man governor who has no respect for the elders, a governor whose antics are known all over the country, a governor whose ethnic roots complain daily about his highhandedness, a governor whose only credential is the strange claim that he is the son of Mr. President! An Igbira governor of Kogi State with a Fulani father – strange combination!
“Therefore, Ukomu loala does not endorse the aspiration oi the present governor for a second term even if he sends and monetizes 10,000.00 thugs. The potential thugs should also be ready. The Attah and our other traditional rulers should rest assured that we are aware of what prompted them to go to Abuja and masquerade before Mr. President. Let the Agaba Idu be rest assured that he is our Attah – we cannot deny him – our kingmakers enthroned him and he has our support. The governor or any governor for that matter can only remove him if the Igala people endorse such an action. After all what happened in Kano should be a lesson – the governor of Kano could not remove the Emir of Kano – his people refused and secondly the presidency’s plot to remove the governor of Benue flopped – why – because the (governor’s people were with him! The Igala people did not appoint our Attah for a young man governor to come and rubbish the collective will of the Igala people. Let the governor leave our Attah for us and stop his pranks. A word should be enough for the self-styled white lion!
“Komu Igala will endorse anyone who identifies with the aspirations and values of our collective will and not necessarily in empty boasters whose stock-in-trade is thuggery without any practical projects to show to the world. Ukomu is looking for a man or woman who respects, understands the collective value of Kogites, whose antecedents are known to Kogites, whose star is in the hearts of the young and old alike, the male and the female, the educated and the uneducated, tested, tried and trusted, a man whose father is in Kogi and who does not borrow a father from somewhere else! Ukomu is looking for a man of integrity, stamina, who will stand for his base and Kogites.
“If people are going to aspire from Kogi East, such persons must appreciate our values, bear the burden of the entire state, be chosen by the collective majority will of our people. Such persons must be ready to pay salaries, plan for the future of our youths, respect our elders, build on any sound foundations and lay new healthy foundations, develop our roads, resuscitate our schools, bring health close to the people, patronize our farmers, be a friend to all and an enemy to only evil men. Such persons will be known, recognised and approved by Ukomu Igala.
“Our leadership organisation recognises the appointment of an Atta (father) of Igala by the kingmakers who have the blessings of the Igala community. The Attah is the Attah of Igala, not the Attah of Kogi State government nor the Attah of Government House. He is the Attah, who speaks the voice of the Igala people – not the Attah of Sokoto or of Kaduna. His primary constituency is the Igala people. Atta also has some other traditional leaders representing all strata of Igala community. This is important for the attention of both our political leaders and traditional rulers.”