Sequel to the recent endorsement of Governor Yahaya Bello to seek a second term in office by traditional rulers in Kogi State, the a pan Igala group, the Ukomu Igala Organisation (UIO), has rejected the purported endorsement, describing the action as a “seige on our traditional rulers”.
The group, through its National Leader, Comptroller Abdul Amade (retd), told journalists in Jos, the Plateau state capital, that the presentation made by the traditional rulers at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, when the monarchs visited President Muhammadu Buhari, endorsing the Kogi State Governor, was not the voice of citizens of the State.
Rising from its emergency general meeting in Jos, the Ukomu Igala Organisation (UIO) said it has received numerous calls from various Igala sons and daughters within and outside the country over what it described as “the evidently stage managed visit of our Traditional Rulers” from Kogi state to President Muhammadu Buhari in an attempt to seek his support for the imposition of a particular candidate on the people of Kogi state in the governorship election in November 2019.
“We wish to state in clear and unambiguous terms, that the entire Igala race which the voice(Ukomu Igala) represents, is not happy with the ongoing siege on our Traditional Rulers.
“That the presentation made during the said visit, is not a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the good people of the Igala Kingdom as the Traditional Rulers were merely arm twisted to make a commitment in favour of the ongoing political aspirations of individual interests in Kogi state.
“We urge the President to disregard the teleguided message in the interest of peace and justice that informed the massive support of Kogites for the change mantra,” the group said.
It continued, “That the people of Kogi State who over whelmingly voted for President Muhammed Buhari in the last Presidential election, did so in solidarity with the President who has been adjudged to be one of the most upright and financially disciplined Nigerian.
“This position of the President must not be allowed to be stained as we urge the President not to allow individual interests to becloud his political judgment based on the contents of the speech during the visit by our Traditional Rulers.”
The Ukomu Igala acknowledged that, “The Traditional Rulers remain the custodian of the culture and tradition of our people and are by their status, expected to sacredly be respected as such and not coerced into any form of political maneuvering.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari, National Officers of the APC and other political parties to disregard all clandestine and deceptive moves by any individual or groups to misrepresent the feelings and yearnings of the good people of Kogi state.”
The group also called on the aforementioned stakeholders to ensure that only credible candidates with good track records are allowed to fly their governorship tickets in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi state.
“Indeed, our people are tired of the extreme insecurity, hunger and pestilence in Kogi State,” the group declared.