The Kogi Agenda: Celebrating Diversity and Fostering Unity for Development

By Yakubu Hamza 

Diversity is the vibrant brushstroke that the universe uses to paint the canvas of life, infusing it with a mesmerizing spectacle. In multicultural communities, the intricate interplay of cultures mirrors the kaleidoscope of human existence. Regrettably, throughout history, mankind has tarnished the ideal of unity in diversity through ethnic prejudice and self-interest. However, in Kogi State, a region renowned for its rich cultural heritage and diverse population, an opportunity arises to embrace this diversity and forge a path towards harmony, progress, and sustainable development. With over 5 million individuals hailing from various ethnic groups, such as the Igala, Ebira, Yoruba, and others, Kogi State boasts a tapestry of traditions, languages, and beliefs. Within this multicultural society, the imperative to nurture unity in diversity becomes paramount.

When Kogi State was carved out in 1991, those who advocated for its establishment, irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds, did not champion this cause for personal gain. Instead, they undertook this endeavor due to their unwavering belief in the shared bonds that connected them. Recognizing the potential inherent in unifying this diverse and flourishing state, they sacrificed everything to transform their dream into reality.

Sadly, a wave of agendas fueled by ethnic bias and self-serving interests has recently emerged, threatening to sow seeds of discord among the people. Deliberate attempts to push regional and religious narratives in pursuit of political gains imperil the hard-won synergy that has been fostered. In a state as diverse as Kogi, disparities in language, religious practices, customs, and social norms are inevitable. Yet, rather than perceiving these differences as divisive factors, we must view them as opportunities for growth, learning, and innovation. By embracing the richness of our diversity, Kogi State can tap into the collective wisdom, skills, and talents of its people, propelling the state to new heights.

Throughout the years, Kogi State has been steered by various administrations that were inspired by the ideology of togetherness, which birthed the state. Governors who comprehended the concept of unity in diversity acknowledged and celebrated the distinctions among the people while recognizing the commonalities that bind us together. Among these governors, Governor Yahaya Bello stands out prominently. He is a leader who perceives no single culture, ethnicity, or religion as superior or inferior to another. Instead, he deeply appreciates the unique contributions each group brings to the table, understanding that these contributions fortify the collective whole, making it stronger and more resilient. Governor Yahaya Bello’s achievements in Kogi State have been nothing short of exceptional when it comes to unity and development which was the vision behind the creation of the State. From infrastructural development to agricultural advancements, education reforms to healthcare improvements, and peace-building efforts to youth empowerment and women inclusiveness, his visionary leadership has set the state on a trajectory of progress and prosperity. What truly captivates me is how he has been able to involve everyone in his transformative crusade, reaching out to communities solely based on their needs. He has placed a strong emphasis on empowering the people without succumbing to ethnic bias.

This is the legacy that Ahmed Ododo is poised to carry forward—a legacy grounded in unwavering commitment to the values that uphold the dignity of our shared humanity. It is crucial to recognize the importance of promoting social cohesion and understanding among different communities. When individuals from diverse backgrounds engage with one another, they gain invaluable insights into different perspectives, challenge prevailing stereotypes, and foster empathy. Such interactions help dismantle barriers and construct bridges of understanding, fostering a more inclusive and tolerant society. Ahmed Ododo, through his interactions with different ethnic groups, has exhibited a profound understanding of our diversity as a catalyst for economic development. He offers a refined perspective on the unique skills, knowledge, and entrepreneurial capabilities inherent within our people. Furthermore, he has demonstrated a genuine commitment to harnessing this diverse talent pool by fostering innovation, promoting local industries, and attracting investments. He firmly believes that collaboration across various communities can facilitate the exchange of ideas and the creation of new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

This is the Kogi Agenda. Now is the time to set aside our differences and channel our collective potential. We must embrace the unity amidst our diversity and rally behind a government that prioritizes quality education, healthcare, and infrastructure, benefiting all communities, regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliations. By ensuring the equitable distribution of resources, the state can bridge gaps and mitigate social disparities, fostering a sense of belonging and shared responsibility among all its residents. Let us forge ahead, united in our quest for a brighter and more inclusive future for Kogi State.


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