As Kogi governorship election, slated for November 1, is fast approaching, political activities and preparations are in top gear, signaling the electioneering campaign in the state.
The November election represents a paradigm shift, especially since the herald of the Fourth republic. This is going to be an unusual election in the history of state as Gov. Yahaya Bello’s eight years administration reaches the homestretch.
The major discourse dominating the political space in the Confluence state (as Kogi is fondly called because of its natural features) is the issue of zoning or power rotation, denying the electorates a robust debates and scrutiny of the contenders.
Again, there was never a time in the state that an election is so important to the citizens and therefore, generating more interests and attentions like this one, due to the age long primordial factors, sparking a supremacy battle and rivalry among the three major ethnic tribes Igala, Ebira and Okuns each tribe representing the three Senatorial districts.
Although, there are many candidates currently representing different political parties in the election but indicators so far, have shown that it’s going to be a three horse race representing each senatorial districts in the state.
This Senatorial district have seven (7) LGAs and the candidate that will reign supreme here is the cerebral and flamboyant Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic P.arty (PDP). This Senatorial district is dominated by the Yoruba speaking people, popularly known as Okun, but the two most important LGAs: Lokoja and Kogi local governments in this district aren’t Yoruba and are not likely going to align with the Okuns in this tribal election.
This is where the current governor, Yahaya Bello alias GYB hails from. The former States ‘ Auditor General for local government, Alh. Usman Ododo is flying the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket. This district is dominated by Ebira ethnic tribe, consisting of five (5 ) LGAs but one LG here isn’t Ebira, they are called Ogori/ Magongo. Historically, religiously and politically, they’re strange political bedfellows with the Ebiras.
There are nine (9) LGAs in this Senatorial district, referred to as Kogi East.They’re Igala ethic tribe. The former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling APC, Alh. Murtala Yakubu Ajaka, who recently defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP)) is tipped to represent the Igala kingdom in the coming election.
In this region only one LG (Bassa) isn’t Igala language but has historically aligned with the Igalas in political equation. However, suffice it to note that more than 60 percent of the inhabitants of Bassa local government are Igalas, while Bassa Komu and Nupes (Bassa Nges) makes up the rest.
As I earlier stated, the November election isn’t going to be about track records, capability, competence and experience of the candidates but an ethnic supremacy contest.
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