Posted by News Express | 11 September 2015 | 3,423 times
With less than three months to the Kogi State governorship election, Yorubas (Okun) in the state on Thursday in Abuja handed down a month's ultimatum to their Igalla counterparts to correct what they called the injustices and marginalisation inflicted in them, or face civil disobedience.
According to them, the state government has been marginalising them in appointments, political power and allocation of resources since 1999.
Senator Dino Melaye APC Kogi West) who issued the threat at a press briefing on behalf of Kogi West indigenes, said the oppression of Okun people have transcended bounds of decency because the state government since 2013, has not employed a single person from Kogi West into the State Civil Service.
The senator in the text entitled, “Marginalisation of Kogi West by the Eastern part of the State”, drew the attention of Nigerians to the statistical facts and data, “about the brutal and wicked lopsidedness and deliberate oppression of Kogi West people and by extension, 'Okun' people in the state over the years.”
He therefore declared that the people of Kogi West have resolved that henceforth, they will "no longer continue to fold their arms and allow a single senatorial district to continue cornering the greatest percentage of the resources of the state.”
“In conclusion, we give the Kogi State government 30 days from today to invite us and correct all these anomalies or we will carry out massive civil disobedience and do all within the law to liberate our people.
“A stitch in time saves nine. The battle to fight for our rights even with the last drop of our blood, is a battle of no retreat, no surrender. Igalla people, enough is enough!”
Using the Kogi State University, Anyigba as a case study, Melaye said employment in the University as of 2013, shows that while Kogi East (Igalla people) where governor Idris Wada comes from has 94 per cent of junior staff and 76.60 per cent of senior staff, Kogi East has 1.5 per cent and 16.60 per cent of junior and senior staff respectively, “even far lower than percentages Kogi Central (Ebira people) and even non-indigenes, have in the state owned institution,” he said.
He added that out of the seven internal members of the University Council, four are Igala (Kogi East), one Ebira (Kogi Central), one Okun (Kogi West) and one non-indigene.
Melaye went further by running down the list of the 37 principal officers of the state University which has 27 Igalla from the Vice-Chancellor down to the Dean of Natural Sciences, while Ebira has six and Okun just two with the remaining two going to the non-indigenes.
He said the lopsidedness of appointments in favour of Igalla people at the Kogi State University to the detriment of Okun people in particular and by extension, the Ebiras as well, is numerically reflective in the entire civil service structure of the state with 25,000 of them from Kogi East (the Igallas) while the remaining 9,000 comprises of Ebiras, Okuns and non-indigenes.
According to him, successive governors of the state since 1999 from Abubakar Audu to the incumbent, Idris Wada (all Igalla), have been focusing on Kogi East alone in the distribution of resources in terms of industrialisation, tertiary education, government agencies and even rural development.
•Photo shows Senator Dino Melaye.
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