I write to realign myself with a write-up written recently by a patriot, one Mr. Ohinoyi Adams on why the good people of Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State should be given equal chance to occupy at least the Federal House of Representatives come 2023 general elections.
I am impressed with all the issues Adams raised, they are apt, terrific and correct. Nigerians should embrace collaborations, respect and show better understanding of other ethnic groups within their geo- political environment.
Election to the House of Representatives in Okene/Ogori/Magongo Federal Constituency is an election that covers two local government areas namely; Okene Local Government Area heavily populated by the Ebira and Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area made up of people who speak Oko/ Osayin a homogeneous dialect spoken by the people of the area.
From history, our people from Okene Local Government Area have continuously dominated and occupied the seat since the creation of the constituency over two decades ago.
Without any justification, the Okene axis has consistently denied our neighbours – the Ogori/Magongo from having a taste of the seat.
The Ogori/Magongo people may be disadvantaged due to their low population compared to Okene people, but the scenario plays out in Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency and there is a gentleman rotation between Igala and Bassa, the latter being the smaller population, but we the Ebiras must always carry them along in the scheme of things especially in matters of politics.
The people of Ogori/Magongo have been very supportive in all ramifications to the cause of the Federal Constituency in electing Ebira politicians into power since the turn of this century but with nothing in return for their patriotism for their Ebira neighbour. Is this fair? Certainly NO!
We should remember too that there was a time in the life of the Ebira in the Central and the Okun/Oworo in the west of Kogi State when we continued to witness the dominance of the Igala ethnic group from the eastern flank, who flagrantly took up leadership in the state and saw it as their birth-right which should never be challenged by any other ethnic group.
They ruled Kogi State for about twenty years without thinking of conceding the position of the state governor to any other ethnic group. The West and Central Senatorial districts of Kogi State for years clamoured for power shift despite the abundant human resources available to them but the Igala insisted that their population has given them an edge to lord themselves on all of us.
God in 2015, listened to our cries and reworked the governorship position to us in the Central using His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello to change the ugly narrative of the Ebiras. This is God for you!
This example given here should be an eye-opener to us all, that we should equally give our long-time neighbours – the Ogori-Magongo an opportunity to occupy the National Assembly especially when an Okene man or woman is heading for the senate.
It is necessary we think out of the box and give the House of Representatives to Ogori/Magongo local government area to fill. This candid arrangement will promote peace, trust, unity and progress that the constituency will need to develop.
Power shift has become a national phenomenon in Nigeria. For instance, Nigerians from the 17 southern states led by their governors irrespective of ethnic and political differences are of the strong view that the next president of this great nation must be zoned to the south. This is nothing but to promote fairness, justice and create a sense of belonging to all Nigerians and this is what the Ogori/Magongo people are clamouring for.
Let us not judge them by their population or other unprogressive parameters. They have capable hands that will steer the affairs and represent us well in the House of Representatives if we entrust the future of our federal constituency to them in Ogori/Magongo L.G.A. They have sons and daughters who have the pedigree to make things work for all of us and many of them have demonstrated their God- given skills at local, national and international levels in the past and currently too.
The people of Ogori and Magongo are progressive-minded, kind, hospitable, diligent, industrious, intelligent and above all they have the fear of God in them. We can count on them on several issues. We, the Ebira must start to close the gaps between both sides and see them as our own brothers and sisters, they have made so much sacrifice for us, it is time we gave them the chance to be in the Federal House of Representatives in 2023.
The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, who is from the Federal Constituency had in 2018 or there about promised to prevail on our people from Okene L.G.A to relinquish the seat to Ogori/Magongo people in order to have a bite of the seat. Someone like me thought this would have happened in the 2019 general elections, but it didn’t just come up. Now, we are hoping that the Ogori/Magongo people will get his support this time around in 2023.
We from Okene axis must avoid selfishness, greediness and sheer wickedness. No human society ever progressed under this condition of suppression of its people or neighbour or what I may term political marginalization. It is either we deal with what is the reality or we can be sure that reality is going to deal with us in years to come. There is no hell like a bad conscience. We must embrace them now and free our conscience from all misgivings about our neighbour.
Let us remember John F. Kennedy message that says, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” The people of Ogori/Magongo will always want us to live together peacefully. Let us believe in them and give them the opportunity to fly the flags of the major political parties in 2023. Let us sit down with them and discuss politically on how best we can grow and develop mutually.
But before I conclude, I wish to state that the two communities from Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area should unite together and stand on a common front to achieve this laudable goal of having their very own occupy the House of Representatives in 2023. Petty politics and community rivalries should be discarded and go for common goals.
Mr Omeiza O. Ozovehe writes from Inike Street, Okene, Kogi state.