By Alex Agbo
A meeting initiated by the Kogi West and Central Forum For Equity and Justice, with pioneer civilian governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu on Tuesday night, to discuss power rotation between the three senatorial zones, ended in a deadlock, WESTERN POST can report. With the recent release of the timetable for the governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political activities in the state have assumed renewed fillip. INEC has scheduled the governorship primaries for the last-but-one weekend in August and the election to produce a successor to the incumbent, Captain Idris Wada, for late November. The Kogi West and Central Forum for Equity and Justice was established in the aftermath of the March/April general elections, to push for power shift from Kogi East senatorial zone, which has continued to dominate the socio-politics of the state since it was created August 27, 1991. Kogi West has seven local government areas and Kogi Central five. Put together, both senatorial zones account for 12 of the 21 LGAs in the state, whereas Kogi East has nine. The pattern of voting arising from the recent introduction of Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs and Card Readers indicates that Kogi West and Central put together accounted for 55% of total votes cast during the recent elections, while Kogi East polled 45%. The Kogi West and Central Forum, which is co-steered by the triumvirate of former Health Minister, Prof Eyitayo Lambo, former University don, Prof. Yusuf Aliyu, and politician and elder statesman, Alh Idris Yusuf Tawari, aims to ensure that justice is appropriately served to Kogi West and Kogi Central senatorial zones in the state, which have suffered untold marginalisation and exclusion in the state, in the last two and half decades. Held at Audu’s Asokoro residence in Abuja, Tuesday’s meeting had a 10-man delegation of five delegates each from from Kogi West and Central. They included former General Officer Commanding Third Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Julius Olakunle Oshanupin, President of the Okun Development Association, Ambassador Babatunde Paul Fadumiyo, and former governorship aspirant under the erstwhile Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the erstwhile Kwara State, Dr David Atte. Also on the delegation were Alh. Yusuf Tawari and Alh. A.G. Usman, who served as Commissioner under Audu in 1992, all from Kogi West. The component from Kogi Central included Audu’s deputy during his stint as governor in 1999 to 2003, Chief Patrick Adaba, former Special Adviser on Education to Audu in 1992, Prof. Angela Okatahi, and Prof Yusuf Aliyu. The delegation was said to have informed Audu that as representatives of Kogi West and Central, they had, in recognition of his place as the first democratically-elected governor of Kogi State, as an elder statesman in his own right and as the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, decided to elicit his support for power shift in the state. The group noted that since the inception of Kogi State in 1991, the state has been governed by a succession of governors from the Igala-dominated Kogi East: Audu (1992-1993, 1999-2003), Ibrahim Idris (2003 to 2012) and the incumbent, Idris Wada, (2012 to the present). Audu was reminded that since each and every governor who made it to Lugard House, Lokoja, enjoyed the massive support of West and Central, the time had come for Kogi East to reciprocate the serial goodwill of West and Central. This, the group observed, had become particularly expedient with the recent release of the gubernatorial election schedule for Kogi State, which prescribes that primaries to elect candidates who will fly the flags of the various political parties in the November 2015 election, be concluded late August.