Kogi land dispute: Yahaya Bello reads Riots Act

Kogi land dispute: Yahaya Bello reads Riots Act

Friday, June 5, 2020 4:52 pm


Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State


Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has warned those stoking the embers of discord to desist from the act or face decisive action from the government. He issued the warning on Friday when he was talking with Journalists in Lokoja.

Bello was reacting to a High Court judgement involving some territories in the state on Tuesday. The court had granted the prayer of the Attah Igala HRH Michael Ameh-Oboni concerning the ownership of some lands situated outside his recognised domain. The Attah Igala is President of Kogi State Traditional Council of Chiefs.

The court ruled that Ajaokuta (in Kogi Central), Lokoja and Kotonkarffe (in Kogi West) lands all historically belong to the Igala kingdom. The ruling has since set many tongues waging and generated tensions among the various ethnic groups in the affected places.

The Governor advised parties to the dispute to resolve it constitutionally. He however said there is no room for imperialism in the modern world and non would thrive under his watch.

The Governor called on those affected in the tussle to seek legal means to address their grievances stressing that the state government would be hard on those using history rightly or wrongly to create confusion.

“I advise those who may want to test the will of this administration to desist in their own interests as we will not spare any means to restore normalcy where they may want to break the law” Bello said.

”This administration have toiled tirelessly to enhance the unity of the state.that is why we invented the acronym EBIGO, meaning Ebira, Igalaland, Okun to futher underline the seriousness with which we hold the unity of this state.

“We will not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone no matter how highly or lowly placed you think you might be .” he added

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  • Adelabu says:

    *Court Judgment on status of Lokoja and Ajaokuta: Yoruba World Congress’ pronouncement*

    A purported Court Judgment declaring Lokoja and Ajaokuta as part of the Igala Kingdom. refers.. The Yoruba World Congress, the umbrella body of Yoruba Groups world wide, would like to state as follows:

    While we have great admiration for the Igala Kingdom, and HRM, the Attah Igala and that institution, we declare the claims in the judgement as a distortion of very clear history, especially as regards to Lokoja, which is a great ancestral domain of the Oworo People of Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State.

    The People of Oworo have already made that very clear. Until the creation of Kogi State when the Igala trooped to Kogi enmasse from Benue State how many Igala lived in Lokoja or Ajaokuta for the previous 100 years?

    What Igala cultural artefacts did Oworo and Ajaokuta People find? From which Igala ancestors did they beg for land before they dwelt there?

    When does coming to trade at an existing market confer ownership of the market to the trader?

    The Igala as a People made their marks in history during the Kwararafa era, and also their impact in some part of Eastern Nigeria.are very clear but the Igala affiliation with the western side of the Niger River did not happen until modern times.

    The recent “Judgment” appropriating Lokoja and Ajaokuta to that Kingdom is a “strange fire on the altar’ and therefore unacceptable to the Yoruba Nation of which the Oworo People are an integral part.

    For far too long, we, the Yoruba in the South West have neglected our brothers and sisters, the Okun in Kogi State and the Ilorin, Igbomina, Ibolo and the Jebba axis of Kwara State who were excised through a conspiracy between the British colonial power and the Fulani Emirates of the core North. That has happened partly because of the distortion caused by the said British, in collaboration with the Fulani Jihadists invaders.

    In light of this jugdement, it is incumbent on YWC to officially bring in the Yoruba Traditional Leaders led by His Imperial Majesty, The Ooni of Ife and His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, The Alafin of Oyo. We will not stop at that, we shall also deploy the best legal luminaries of the Yoruba extraction to the struggle to rescue our people from this expansionist ploy.

    Now is the right time to signal the determination of the Yoruba to begin a process of writing the true history of the Nigerian Ethnic Nationalities, as opposed the pseudo-colonislist and jihadist interpretation as handed over to us by the British, who were driven by commercial/economic goals.

    In order to protect their economic interests, the British imposed a hegemonist arrangement called the Almalgamation Treaty of 1914. It is instructive to note that this treaty was due for renewal in 2014.

    We, the Yoruba Nation stand firm on the belief that the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria reserve the right to self determination to agree to arrangements that suit their national aspirations.

    The judgement of the High Court that Lokoja and Ajaokuta in Kogi State are part of the Igala Kingdom against all genuine historical facts, highlights the urgent need for discussions by all parts of Nigeria to agree on where they want to be instead of what is imposed on them.

    This Statement serves notice that the Yoruba Nation will strenuously stand to defend her People who dwell on YORUBA LAND from Oworo in Kogi State eastwards to Jebba and Baruba all the way to the Benin Republic border and southwest to the Atlantic Ocean. We urge all the Oworo People to stay calm but to resolutely defend their God given land against this attempted piracy

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