Ujache Igala Assaciation, a Socio-Cultural Group in Abuja has expressed concern over inbalance appointment of Kogi state indigenes into various political offices by Governor Yahaya Bello.
The group noted that there has never been a time where tribal affiliation was used to determine state appointment as it is happening in Kogi state under the administration of Governor Bello.
According to the communique issued by the group after a meeting in Abuja, “We have viewed developments in Kogi State with regards to appointment of Kogi indegenes by the governor, Yahaya Bello into various political 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.
“Standard practice ever since is zoning formula & basketing of positions, the only area that was done well is Governoship, Deputy & Speakership.
“Obviously, events in the last few months suggested that gov has embarked on indiscriminate removal of Igalas in replacement with tribal people, as presure group, we highly condemn this development in totality, it is unacceptable.
“In this context, therefore, appointments should not only be on merit & qualifications but timely as well.
“Unfortunately, when the governor is supposed to be the father to all and sundries, he has taken side with particular tribe.
“It is important to remind ourselves that governors of Igala extraction 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 up a spurious and unsubstantiated allegations to warrant one’s removal from office only to 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 (STA)
“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 the VC is one of the revered member of ASUU, it will be sacrilegious for him to act otherwise.
“In the 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 went to announce names 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 people 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 areas of the state (Kogi East)
“While we are not against or hate any particular tribe that is an integral part of the state, we shall not fold our hands to stand and watch any tribe to degrade Igala race consciously or unconsciously.
“Any attempt from any individual or group to suppress, oppress and intimidate Igala shall be resisted vehemently.
“The Igala being the largest ethnic group in the state is not our making, it’s by providence and we give thanks to God for his mercy on us.
“We also thank the other tribes in the state deeply for their endless understanding and inestimable cooperation that has made the diverse state co-exist harmoniously for a long period of our coming together as a state.
“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 removed for any reason, the choice of Ebira as replacement is not healthy, particularly when the dominance of Ebira is very pronounced in the state at the moment.
“While the VC and MD are to be replaced by Prof Marietu Tenuche and Prof Isah Adagiri Yahaya, who are both from Central Senatorial District, where Governor comes from and still the same zone that produced the head of the state Judiciary (Chief Judge of the state) as well as the Head of Service(HOS)
“Not enough, the zone have Commissioner for Works, that of LG & Chieftancy, Water Resources and House committee Chairman on Education are all from across, how can anybody contemplate of taking the VC & MD to where all these positions are located including the Commissioner for health & Education.
“Don’t forget that the COS to the Governor is also from the Central Senatorial District”