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Group condemns dethronement of monarchs, Bello’s last minute lopsided appointments [communique]



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An online meeting of the National Council of Ojuju Agbadufu Igala Forum was convened on the 14TH January 2024.
The meeting examined amongst other things the crisis of the illegal deposition, banishment and suspension of traditional rulers by the HE Yahaya Bello led administration, the appointments made by the governor at the twilight of the administration, and the assault against Senator Isah Jibrin Echocho representing Kogi East in the National Assembly under the watch of HE Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

(I). That Kogi State has become more tensed following the outcome of the 11 November 2023 gubernatorial election in Kogi State as evidenced by the anger of the governor of the State, HE Yahaya Bello, who has stoked further crisis by the politically motivated dethronement, banishing and suspension of traditional rulers across the three senatorial districts of the State.

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(Ii). The malhandling of a sitting Senator Isah Jibrin Echocho representing Kogi East in the National Assembly by thugs loyal to HE Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, within the Kogi State Government House while the governor himself was officially within the same Government House, is a national embarrassment, and emphases government as a cause of insecurity, aiding and abetting same.

(III). HE Governor Yahaya Bello’s last minute State appointments, a few weeks to the date of handing over of 27th January 2024, represents the ethnic bigotry that characterised the eight year administration of the governor.

(iv). The innovation by HE Governor Yahaya Bello, of purchasing INEC result sheets from INEC Headquarters, pre-filling of same and enforcement of INEC Staff to use same, bypassing BVAS for Okene, Adavi and Okehi LGAs during the November 11 2023 gubernatorial election, is capable of undermining the integrity of elections and democracy in Nigeria.

(v) HE Governor Yahaya Bello has appointmented three Vice Chancellors for the three Kogi State Universities with two being Ebira and one being Okun, without any being Igala.

1.The Governor, HE Yahaya Bello is called upon to reverse the dethronement, banishment and suspension in the interest of peace and security of the State. The Governor should stop creating unnecesary and unwarranted tension in the State, and should not set the State on fire before exiting Lugard House on 27th January 2024.

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Traditional rulers are fathers to all, and can receive kolanut/s and offer prayers for any candidate that seeks their blessing. Traditional rulers are not politicians or chief security officers of their domain. They do not have the power to decide which candidate or party people should vote or not vote for. The Governor should reinstate the affected traditional rulers to reduce the tension already brewing in the State.

The Governor has no right under the constitution to exile or bannish any lawful Nigeria from anywhere. This is settled law. It is surprising that Governor Yahaya Bello has exposed himself as a 16th century dictator in modern form. The affected traditional rulers are advised to maintain peace in their domain.

2. The President of Senate and the entire gamut of the National Assembly should be interested and make sure that the thugs who almost assasinated one of them (Distinguished Senator Isah Jibrin Echocho) in the Kogi State Government House are identified and are made to face justice. There is an attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet.

3. HE Governor Yahaya Bello’s last minute State appointments has exemplified him as an ethnic bigot, and a rewarder of those who helped him deal in the business of pre-filling procured INEC result sheets for his proxy
through whom he intends to run a third term from the 27th January 2024, to give him the platform and access to State financial and political resources, to enable him aspire to national position/s.

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4. The Governor is called upon to remove his wife as the Feeding Committee Chairperson for the inauguration of his proxy.

5. The INEC Chairman is called upon to investigate and expose the new innovation in INEC Headquarters where candidates for an election or their proxies can freely purchase original INEC election result sheets through National Commissioners, for use in an election. If this is not done, and very urgently too, Nigerians may lose more confidence in INEC whose image is already very battered at the moment.

6. INEC Headquarters should distance itself from the pre-filling of original INEC result sheets, and investigate the Electoral Officers and other INEC Staff who allowed the use of same, bypassing BVAS machines at Okene, Adavi and Okehi LGAs and any other LGA during the 11 November 2023 gubernatorial election in Kogi State.

7. Lack of political will to investigate and punish this criminality is capable of undermining the integrity of future elections and democracy in Nigeria.

8. HE Governor Yahaya Bello is called upon to balance the appointments of the three Vice Chancellors of the three State Universities before he leaves office on the 27th January 2024.


Christopher Ukwenya

Maji Isah
Clerk of Council

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