FOLLOWING the agitation for the restructuring of Nigerian polity, the Okun Development Association (ODA), umbrella socio-cultural group of the Yoruba in Kogi State, has set up a committee of eminent Okun sons and daughters to chart a new course for the Okun nation.
The committee, which is headed by the immediate past ODA President, Chief Emmanuel Otitoju, is to work out modalities that will lead to the people achieving their age long agitation to be carved out of the North Central zone and be reunited with Kith and Kins in the Southwest geo-political zone.
The decision was taken at the ODA National Executive Committee meeting which held in Kabba, Kogi State conveyed by ODA National President, Ambassador Babatunde Fadumiyo.
The ODA resolved among others that the Okun people would support any form of restructuring of the polity that would see the “Okun nation occupies its rightful place in the comity of nations”.
It was further resolved that “there is the urgent need to evolve a throw-back mechanism into the workings of the Okun people whereby genuine people’s needs, liberty, self-determination through national and global development, hard work, transparency and accountability which are veritable virtues associated with the Okun people are brought back and better refined; that there should be deliberate and concerted efforts at driving out the negative virtues of social marginalization, abject poverty, mutual distrust, tension, segregation, rancor and acrimony as these are negative virtues which impede the economic and political growth of Okun land”.
The group expressed appreciation to the administrations of President Muhammadu Buhari and Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello for considering Okun people to serve in key positions in the present dispensation.
Appraising the lingering political crisis in the state, the association resolved that it was a creation of factions within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, adding that in the interest of peaceful co-existence of all Kogi people, members of the ruling APC at the national level should as a matter of urgency intervene in the imbroglio between Bello and Senator Dino Melaye and create a veritable platform for an amicable resolution.
It condemned “vituperations, unsavory utterances and violent activities of some political office holders which are meant to drag the good name of Okun people into the mud. The executives believed that such unguided activities if not checked, could tarnish the most cherished culture of honesty, dedication, hard work characteristic of the Okun people.”
The communiqué of the meeting read in part, “That political office holders and other disgruntled elements within the Okun political, social and religious hemisphere should desist henceforth from negative act of using Okun people and its territory as a launch pad for political violence, acrimonious relationships and as a platform for disseminating official or unofficial falsehood under any guise; capricious wastage of human resources and the destruction of our age along cherished legacies which are capable of embarrassing the Okun nation.
“That following the clarion call for the restructuring of Nigeria as a whole, a committee comprising eminent Okun sons and daughters be set up with Chief E.O. Otitoju (MFR) as the chairman. That the committee should among its oversight functions Chart New Course for the Okun nation so as to allow the Okun nation occupy its rightful place in the Comity of Nations, especially along with its Kith and Kins in the South-West.”
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