As the November 21, 2015 governorship election in Kogi State gathers momentum, the re-election bid of the incumbent governor of the state, Capt Idris Wada has received another boost with the endorsement of his candidature by the Yoruba Community in the state.
The Yoruba Community, an amalgam of people of Yoruba extraction living in the state, who are from Yoruba-speaking states of Edo, Ekiti, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos and Kwara, respectively.
The Yoruba community constitutes a large percentage of the voting population in the state and are different from the indigenous Okun-Yoruba ethnic stock that occupy 6 of the 21 local government areas in the state, notably Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Lokoja, Mopamuro, Yagba East and Yagba West.
The Yoruba Community in Kogi State made the resolve yesterday in Lokoja at a reception in honour of the visiting Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko who doubles as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
The governor was in the state in solidarity with his counterpart whose major challenger, is the two time former governor of the state, Prince Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The Ondo State governor who addressed the audience in Yoruba, told them that Kogi State was a very peculiar one, “as it’s a home for all Nigerians, given its location at the very centre of the nation.”
The Ondo state governor who said Kogi State is bounded by about nine states and the Federal Capital Territory, including the Yoruba-speaking states of Edo, Ekiti, Ondo and Kwara reminded them of the age-long socio-cultural affinities between Kogi and it’s neighbouring states, stressed that they have found an ideal home away from their original states of origin, in Kogi State.
He tasked them to consolidate on their positions as major stakeholders in the affairs of the state, by returning Gov Wada at the governorship election.
Paramount leader of the Yoruba Community in Kogi State, Oba Bello Audu, on behalf of delegates to the meeting, expressed deep appreciation to the host governor, Captain Wada for putting the interactive session together; even as he thanked Governor Mimiko, for finding time to check on his kinsmen of O’dua descendant.
Oba Audu stressed that under the leadership of Gov Wada, non-indigenes with different culture and ethnic background have found a worthy home in Kogi State.
“We are one and the same with the people of Kogi State. Our children do not pay discriminatory school fees, our businesses are not levied selective taxes, indeed the issue of state of origin is almost a non-issue for us here because of the way we have been embraced by our hosts and the governor”, he stressed.
Oba Bello Audu assured that the goodwill of Governor Wada’s government to non-indigenous communities in the state would be reciprocated, come November 21, 2015.
The occasion that attracted a lot of dignitaries included the host governor, Capt Wada, his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Director General of the Wada/Awoniyi Campaign Organisation, former Military Governor of Akwa Ibom and Edo States, Gen Tunde Ogbeha and Chief of Staff to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Prince Olusola Akanmode.
Former Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Alhaji Musa Ahmadu, member of the House of Representatives representing Ondo East and West who is also Chairman, House Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector, Hon Joseph Iranola Akinlaja, his colleague representing Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency who is also Chairman, House Committee on Capital Markets, Hon Tajudeen Yusuf, as well as PDP stalwart from Lokoja local government area.