Restructuring: Yoruba in Kogi Want Reunion with South-west

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Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

Following the call to restructure the Nigerian polity, Okun Development Association (ODA), the umbrella socio-cultural group of the Yoruba people in Kogi State, has set up a committee comprising eminent Okun sons and daughters to among other oversight functions, chart a new course for the Okun nation.

Prominently, the committee which is headed by the immediate past ODA President, Chief Emmanuel Otitoju, is to work out modalities that would lead to the people achieving their age-long agitation to be carved out of the North-central geo-political zone and reunited with their kith and kins in the South-west zone.

The ODA National Executive Committee meeting which was held in Kabba recently, was conveyed by ODA National President, Babatunde Fadumiyo, and had 15 members of the executives in attendance.

After an extensive deliberation, ODA resolved among others that the Okun people would support any form of restructuring of the polity that would see the “Okun nation occupies its rightful place in the comity of nations.”

It was further resolved that “there is the urgent need to evolve a throw-back mechanism into the workings of the Okun people whereby genuine people’s needs, liberty, self-determination through national and global development, hard work, transparency and accountability which are veritable virtues associated with the Okun people are brought back and better refined; that there should be deliberate and concerted efforts at driving out the negative virtues of social marginalisation, abject poverty, mutual distrust, tension, segregation, rancour and acrimony as these are negative virtues which impede the economic and political growth of Okun land.”

The group expressed appreciation to the administrations of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, for considering the people of Okunland to serve in key positions in the present dispensation.

The ODA NEC appraised the lingering political crisis in the state, and resolved that it was a creation of factions within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), adding that in the interest of peaceful co-existence of all Kogi people, members of the APC at the national level should as a matter of expediency bridge the lacuna that occasioned the imbroglio between Governor Yahaye Bello and Senator Dino Melaye and create a veritable platform for an amicable resolution.

It condemned “vituperations, unsavory utterances and violent activities of some political office holders which are meant to drag the good name of Okun people into the mud. The executives believed that such unguided activities, if not checked, could tarnish the most cherished culture of honesty, dedication and hard work which are characteristics of the Okun people.”