In its bid to address the current political imbalance in Kogi State, the Kogi West Elders’ Forum (KWEF), which is a socio-cultural group made up of political heavy weights, technocrats, academics and opinion leaders from Kogi West Senatorial District, has called for the rotation of the governorship position among the three senatorial districts of the state.
In a statement made available to news men, the chairman of KWEF, Gen. David Jemibewon (rtd), criticised the dominance of the governorship slot by two senatorial districts, namely Kogi Central and Kogi East.
Despite their active engagement in past elections, he said that the skewed political power play has denied the people of Kogi West District the opportunity to produce the governor since the state’s creation in 1991.
Jemibewon said Kogi Central and Kogi East have held the governorship seat for roughly 21 years and would hold it for another 25 years when Governor Yahya Bello steps down in 2023.
In the light of the foregoing, the group stated that:
“We reject running mates in all political parties. That Governor Yahaya Bello and all political actors in the state should take conscious note of this demand and support every arrangement that will meet the aspiration. That all political parties in the Kogi West district must endeavour to work together to stimulate actions that would produce credible candidate(s) leading to their state primary elections in the state”.
“All political parties in this regard must, however, align with Kogi East and Kogi Central districts to accomplish the objective by working to produce a governorship candidate that will be acceptable to all the flanks of the state in the 2023 governorship election. That the forum wishes to remind his Excellency of our unalloyed support during the last election when we made a public statement that endorsed his re-election based on our insight that he was a democrat, courageous and would honour our modest agitation for power rotation in the state”.
The statement further said, “As an aspiring president of Nigeria, the governor needs to more than ever before, demonstrate his support for an enduring power-sharing arrangement at the grassroots level in Kogi State and then Nigeria as widely canvassed by all critical and discerning minds in Nigeria. This demonstration will show the infallible strength of good character and integrity he poses to lead a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria. That the Kogi West district has embellished numbers of qualified candidates that understand the need for good governance that will benefit every part of the state”.
Whether Kogi West Elders Forum achieves its aspiration of producing the next governor of the state, will depend, to a very large extent, on incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello.