Kogi Socio-cultural group, Ujache Igala Association has accused the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello of marginalising the people of Eastern Senatorial flank in key appointments he has made since he began his second tenure in office.
In a communiqué issued by the group which was signed by its National leader, Citizen Goodman Akwu and Pastor Samuel Ugbede, the group expressed disappointment at the manner government officials from the East were removed from offices unceremoniously only to be replaced by those from the Central Senatorial district.
Citing the case of the removal of the Vice Chancellor of Kogi State University and that of the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, the group posited that the governor’s action amouns to nepotism of the highest order.
The group warned that if the lopsidedness was not corrected, they might resort to challenging the state in Court, adding that Yahaya Bello must be sensitive in appointing indegenes into the offices to avoid disunity in the state.
Part of the communique reads:
“As a socio-cultural group, we have viewed developments in Kogi State with regards to appointment of Kogi indegenes by the governor, Yahaya Bello into offices with great concern due to its glaring lopsidedness.
“Without iota of doubt, and with recourse to the past history of Kogi State, there has never been a time where tribal affiliation determines State appointments as is happening now in Kogi State.
“Obviously, events in the last few months suggested that the governor has embarked on indiscriminate removal of Igala people in replacement with his tribal people and as a socio-cultural group, we highly condemn this development in totality.
“Unfortunately, the governor that supposed to a father of all has taken side with particular tribe as a jingoist.
“It is important to remind ourselves that governors of Igala extractions have governed the state in the past where equity and inclusiveness was their baseline of governance and after leaving office, history and posterity was still kind to them.
“The exercise going on in Kogi State whereby it’s a misnomer being an Igala person and so, he or she has to give way for a particular tribe is highly condemnable and not healthy for the development of Kogi State.
“Worse still, it’s a case of minority dominating the majority.
“More worrisome is that the State government would put up a spurious and unsubstantiated allegations to warrant one’s removal from office only to excavate a whole plant a brother as a successor.
“Recently the Vice Chancellor of Kogi state University, Anyigba in the person of Professor Hassan Isah was removed on ‘flimsy reason’ of not complying with the Single Treasury Account.
“We all know that Universities in Nigeria has interrelated way of accounting operating systems, a reason that ASUU insists they will not comply with such directive as it is counter productive to the academic environment and dont forget that he is one the revered member of ASUU, it will be sacrilegious for him to act otherwise.
“In like manner, the Chief Medical Director of Kogi Specialist hospital, Dr Ahmed Attah another Igala person from Kogi East Senatorial District was also removed from office for no cogent reason(s).
“To our greatest dismay, the governor announced the name of his fellow Ebira extraction as replacement in acting capacity, preparatory for their confirmation in a no distant time.
“This is not just gross nepotism, but a strategy to eased out the Igala in position to weaken the Igala race that constitutes about 40% of the workforce and 54% of the entire population of the state.
“It may interest the general public to know that 80% of the civil servants, that were denied salary for 4 years as a result of the 4 years and still on going screening exercise are from Igala-Bassa speaking area of the state, Kogi East.
“We wish to state further that if the present appointments are not reverted to the status quo, we shall not be oblivious of challenging the development in court to seek for justice.
“If the Vice Chancellor and the Managing Director who are Igala are suspended for any reason, the choice of Ebira as replacement is not healthy, particularly when the dominance of Ebira is very pronounced in the state.”
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