President Bola Tinubu has called on the people of Kogi West Senatorial District to maintain peace and unity ahead of the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in the State.
Speaking at a meeting with leaders of Okun Development Association, led by Professor Micheal Ikupolati, at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, the President assured them of his commitment to look into their concerns regarding marginalization and the need for fair representation in governance of their state.
According to a statement by the president’s special adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, the delegation had expressed their unwavering support for the Tinubu administration and requested the president’s backing for Kogi West Senatorial District to have an opportunity to produce the next governor of the state.
They emphasized that this would be the first time the district will have a chance to produce the governor in 27 years since the state’s creation in 1991.
Responding to their appeal, the President told the delegation: ‘‘Democracy is about horse trading, numbers, about conflicts and conflict resolution. I appreciate your leadership and your position. One of your sons, James Faleke, has worked very closely with me and I know about the issue when late Prince Audu was alive.
‘‘But that was the way of God Almighty. He passed on and the arrangement didn’t work and there was a judgement from the Supreme Court that was the last bus stop. That brought about the present government in the State, who is also a member of our party.’’
Regarding the issue of power rotation and constitutional provisions to guarantee equal rights for all Senatorial Districts, the President said he would thoroughly examine the matter of fair representation they brought to his attention.
He recalled the agreement on power rotation made by late Prince Abubakar Audu and other leaders but acknowledged that unforeseen events can impact such arrangements.
‘‘When you talk about domination, I’ll have to dig deeper on the issues. Yes, the question of rotation was agreed by Prince Audu and some other leaders but death didn’t allow him. God Almighty knows the reasons and we cannot question him,’’ he said.
President Tinubu assured the group that having listened carefully to all their concerns on issues surrounding the elections in November, ‘‘he would look into the issues very carefully to ensure fairness, justice and equity but democracy is still a game of number.’’
He charged them to extend love to one another, be patient and show solidarity to other members of the Senatorial districts in the State.
Prof. Ikupolati had appealed to the President to intervene by directing security agencies to ensure a fair and peaceful election process during the elections scheduled for November 11, 2023.
Additionally, the group requested the enforcement of the use of Biometric Voter Authentication System (BVAS) in the upcoming election in Kogi State.
The Kogi West Senatorial District Leader of Thought highlighted that their appeal for power shift to the Kogi West Senatorial District is a reflection of the region’s historical support for other districts in the past.