A social cultural organisation of the Igala people of Kogi state, Ojuju Agbadufu Igala, has asked the Ata Igala and Chairman of the Kogi state Council of Chiefs, Dr..Michael Oboni, to suspend the planned conferment of a chieftaincy title on Governor Yahaya Bello.
It said doing so will amount to endorsing the actions of the governor.
In a letter to the Paramount ruler dated October 23, 2019 by the President in Council of the organisation, Chris Ukwenya, the group also said conferring a title on the governor, few days to the governorship election in the state, would also mean an endorsement of the governor’s candidacy ahead of others in the race.
The group told the monarch that if he must go ahead with the ceremony, he should extend same gesture to the PDP governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada and other candidates in the race.
The letter reads: “We wish to inform you that there has been an uproar by your subjects as soon as the announcement for the conferment of CHIEFTAINCY title on Governor Yahaya Bello and two others became public.
“Our members are also opposed to the conferment both for its timing, lack of justification and the fact that it is one sided and suggestive. We are very sure the palace is also very alarmed by the magnitude of the public disenchantment generated by the announcement of a date to confer the chieftaincy title of Oga-onu ogwu Ata on Governor Yahaya Bello.
“We wish to advice, call and urge your Majesty, to postpone or cancel this ceremony till a more auspicious time when it is justifiable and certainly after the November 16 governorship election to prevent the people from giving it political interpretations.
“We wish to remind you your Majesty, that Governor Yahaya Bello, who has not performed in office will be contesting this election with a few of your Igala sons, and conferring this title on him days to the election will be a direct endorsement of the candidacy of a non performing governor that the people so detest and are eager to see-off.
“We wish to remind your Majesty, that the celebrated Idah-Anyigba road that his administration met half completed is yet to be completed almost four years into his administration. It would have been most appropriate if his visit to Idah on the 25th would be to come and commission the said road that is so dear to your heart. But no, he is coming to campaign to be given another four years to continue perpetuating evil on our land and state.
‘As one of our reminders, your Majesty, Your kingdom, Igala Nation has been the worst hit by the unpopular and anti-people policies of Governor Yahaya Bello. Key amongst the policies of retrenchment of Kogi workers affected more of your children than any other as majority of those retrenched were Igalas. This was not because they did not meet up with civil service requirements, but merely because they are Igala.
“Under his administration, hunger, starvation, depression and suicide became a way of life for our people with record numbers of avoidable deaths. This is the worst that has happened to us.
“We wish to inform your Majesty that your kingdom has witnessed proliferation of guns under this government like never before and your children are killing themselves instead of being productively engaged. That is why you now hear cases of kidnapping, arm robbery and other social vices on your land than ever before, more close to you is the now death trap Ajegwu-Idah road.
“Our hospitals are in a bad shape, insecurity is at feverish pitch and the educational system is abysmally nauseating. A peep into the Kogi State University which is on your soil will tell it all, Your Majesty
“Recent amongst his condemnable acts is the recent criminal-like treatment of Elder Simon Achuba and his ultimate removal as Deputy Governor of the State as against the position of the law and the panel of enquiry set up to investigate him.
“Conferring this title on him will be tantamount to telling the world that he has done exceedingly well, which is contrary to the reality on ground, Your Majesty. As the custodian of Igala tradition, your position we know is to always protect sovereignty and honor of Igala Nation. But this exercise, if allowed, will suggest otherwise.
“The stool of the Ata Igala should be careful not to be seen as validating what he has done to your people and the State in general by conferring on him such a recognition, your Majesty. It will be a dent on your revered seat and office as the Ata Igala and the head of the State traditional Council.
“If the Anè Ebira where he comes from has not found him worthy of a title four years into his government, we feel it will not be out of place if you tarry a while, your majesty. Should you insist on this coronation, then duty will call on you to also coronate Engr. Musa Wada, Mr. Sam Aro and other candidates contesting the November 16 election if only for you to mitigate any political coloration therefrom.
“We make these suggestions in the best interest of the Igala Nation”.