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KOGI 2016 AND THE PROPONENTS OF POWER SHIFT : Sule Isa Akagwu Kpaleko

Kogi State was one of the states created by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida in 1991. The creation brought the old Kabba province of Okun and Ebira-speaking peoples together with the Igala and Bassa-speaking parts of old Benue State. Igala and Bassa formed the Eastern senatorial district, Ebira and Ogori-Magongo formed the Central senatorial district. The Okuns, together with Ebira Kotos and Hausa-speaking part of Lokoja formed the Western senatorial district. Apart from some other common features of traditional heritage, people of Kogi State are bound by history and geography.

We are richly blessed with both human and natural resources. Our men and women are industrious, hard-working and highly receptive. Our youths are vibrant and enterprising.

The history of Nigeria would not be complete without a mention of the two great rivers, Niger and Benue, which meet in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State, to form a confluence.

Nigeria's brief return to democracy in 1992 was greeted with fanfare in Kogi, just like in every other part of the country. Elders and political heavyweights came together to brainstorm, and a fair-sharing formula was agreed upon by consensus. The Eastern part of the state would produce the governor, the Central the deputy governor, while the Western part, the secretary to State Government as well as the speaker of the House of Assembly. 

Sadly, today, about 24 years after this unwritten agreement was reached by the political gladiators from different parts of Kogi State, the Igalas continue to cling unto power. 

"Our Eastern brethren continue to use their numerical advantage to perpetuate themselves in power. There is no doubt about their resolve and determination to continue to hold on to the governorship of Kogi State till the end of the world. Several agitations and appeals from groups and concerned individuals have fallen on deaf ears."

Kogi State belongs to all of us. We should all have equal claim and right to aspire for the highest political office of the state. It is no longer acceptable for one senatorial district to continue to rule a state for years. It is unfair to allow this injustice and cheating to go unchecked. Other parts of Kogi State should be allowed to "taste" power for the sake of even and equilibrium development in its every part. Traditional and political leaders from different parts of the state should convene a forum and broker a power shift/rotation deal that would enhance peaceful and harmonious co-existence in the confluence state. 



SEN JONATHAN  TUNDE  OGBEHA 



Ogbeha is a retired general from Kogi State who was administrator of Akwa Ibom State and old Bendel State during the military rule of General Ibrahim Babangida (1985–1993). After the return to democracy in 1999 he was the elected senator for the Kogi West constituency of Kogi State from May 1999 to May 2007. He is an influential figure in Kogi State politics.


Tunde Ogbeha was born in Lokoja, Kogi State in 1947. After obtaining a West African School Certificate, he attended theNigerian Military School, Zaria, where he obtained a Nigerian Defense Academydiploma in 1970. In 1986, he attended The Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru for a year.

Tunde Ogbeha was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1970. 

In 1985, he was appointed an Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea. In 1987, he was appointed Military Governor of the newly formed Akwa Ibom State. In 1988, he was appointed Military Governor of the now defunct Bendel State.

Reminiscing about the period, Ogbeha said that he was not in the vanguard for the 1991 creation of Kogi State, but helped in its creation because he was a trusted advisor of President Ibrahim Babangida.

He voluntary retired as a Brigadier-General in 1993, after Babangida stepped down from power.

In 1998, Tunde Ogbeha and his close friend General David Medaese Jemibewon, a former military governor of Oyo State, were a team in Kogi State. In the April 1999 elections, Ogbeha ran for the Senate and was elected to represent Kogi West on the platform of People's Democratic Party (PDP), while Jemibewon obtained the ministerial post allocated to Kogi State in the new government.

In 2003, Tunde Ogbeha and David Jemibewon were rivals for the Kogi West PDP senate candidacy. However, Tunde Ogbeha was backed by president Olusegun Obasanjo. He was chosen as PDP candidate and reelected to the Senate in April 2003. Tunde Ogbeha was appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Water Resources, in which role he attended the Fourth World Water Forum, March 16–22, 2006, in Mexico city.

In a December 2005 interview, Ogbeha said "The constitution was made without the thought that we will have cowboys who will operate it and these cowboys are bringing us shame and disgrace". He strongly criticized the current leaders for wanton and unbridled corruption. As senator for Kogi West, Tunde Ogbeha advocated a new Kogi State comprising the Okun Yorubas and the people of Kogi Central. He said that the people of Kogi East should constitute a separate state.

He chose not to run for another term in 2007. 

After leaving the Senate, Ogbeha became Chairman of the Confluence Cable Network, Kogi State's first private broadcasting station. He also became a member of the board of Falcon Securities, a stock brokerage established by Peter Ukuoritsemofe Ololo in 1993. Ololo was arrested in 2009 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on charges that a huge portion of the loans taken by Ololo's firms were carried out illegally. Ogbeha was not implicated in the charges.

In July 2009, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua nominated Tunde Ogbeha to the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, representing the non-oil-producing North Central region.

The people of the Western Senatorial District are clamouring for his quest to govern the state due to his vast experience and exposure. 





MAJ GEN DAVID MEDAYESE JEMIBEWON



Jemibewon is a Nigerian military officer who was appointed governor of Western State from August 1975 until March 1976 during the military regime of GeneralMurtala Muhammed. He then became the first Governor of Oyo State, after it had been created from part of the old Western State, in office between March 1976 and July 1978 during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo. Later, he was appointed Minister of Police Affairs in the cabinet of President Olusegun Obasanjo after the return to democracy in May 1999. He was dismissed in 2000, and later was a contender to run for senator of Kogi West, in Kogi State.

Jemibewon was born on 20 July 1940 in Iyah-Gbedde in Ijumu council of Kogi State. He was educated in Nigeria, England, and the United States of America. He holds the traditional title of Jagunmolu of Ibadan, Oyo State. He belongs to the Okun ethnic group.

Jemibewon was General Officer Commanding First Infantry Division. In August 1975 he was appointed governor of Western State replacing Akintunde Aduwo, who had held office for just 30 days. In March 1976 Western State was divided in Ogun, Ondo and Oyo. Jemibewon continued as governor of Oyo State. Later he became Adjutant General of the Nigerian Army.

After retiring from the army Jemibewon earned a degree in Law at the University of Lagos. He then opened a successful legal practice. He was also involved in palm oil trading. When Obasanjo was charged and convicted for alleged complicity in a coup plot in 1995, Jemibewon and General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma successfully interceded on his behalf with the military head of state General Sani Abacha.

Jemibewon was chairman of the constitution drafting committee of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 during preparations for the 1998/1999 democratic elections that ushered in the Nigerian Fourth Republic.

Appointed Minister for Police Affairs in Obasanjo's first cabinet in June 1999, he introduced a five-year plan for the recovery of the police, adding 33,000 police officers, setting up the Nigeria police service commission, and better equipping the police to cope with the task of internal security. Speaking on behalf of Obasanjo at the 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference in South Africa, in December 1999, David Jemibewon told the conference that "To sustain democracy, we have to keep itching fingers and greedy eyes off the public till. Those in power must be accountable to the people."

In the run up to the April 2003 Senatorial elections for Kogi West, he was the main competitor to the incumbent Tunde Ogbeha for the PDP candidature. He was unsuccessful in the bid, and Ogbeha went on to be elected for a second term. However, he remained a member of the PDP and a member of the PDP Board of Trustees.

In August 2003 Jemibewon was listed as a director of EBS Nigeria, a company relatively unknown before June 2006 when it emerged as a big player in a N2.5 billion contract for anti-retroviral drugs from the Federal Ministry of Health.

His political supporters has bestowed the trust of taking the state to an enviable hight if given the mandate.



OLUSOLA GEORGE OLUMOROTI (OGO)

George-Olumoroti, Olusola a trained Mechanical Engineer was born in Kabba, Kabba/Bunu LGA of Kogi State. He attended St. Andrew's Primary School, Egbeda-Kabba where he obtains the first School Leaving Certificate; and later proceeded to St. Barnabas Secondary School, Kabba for his WAEC examination and received the 1984 Best Graduating Student Award in Geography. He attended Ondo State Polytechnic (now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic), Owo for his Ordinary National Diploma (OND) programme in Mechanical Engineering where he graduated in 1988 winning the institution's prize for the Best Graduating Student in ND Mechanical Engineering. Driven by his quest and search for knowledge, he attended the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos where he was identified and awarded the Federal Government Scholarship Award for 1988/89 Session for being the most outstanding student during the 1988/89 HND1 academic year, he graduated from the school in flying colours in 1990. A man not known to be satisfied with status quo but hungers after personal effectiveness and enhanced leadership qualities continued his pursuit for educational excellence at the University of Calabar, Calabar where he obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). An alumnus of Lagos Business School, he attended many Professional and Managerial courses locally and internationally.
He started his work experience as a youth corper when he was assigned to Savannah Flour Mills, Yola, Adamawa State in 1990. He worked in many companies including Miccom Engineering Works Limited, Lagos (a leading Cable Manufacturer) before joining the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where he was until 1993. In 1993 he joined Mobil Producing Nigeria (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil); a man known for integrity, efficiency and quality service delivery, dutifully served in various capacities rose to become a Senior Executive of the Company, and is the current president of ExxonMobil Staff Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
George-Olumoroti, Olusola whose watchword has always been justice, integrity and accountability served in many leadership positions in his sojourn through life. He was the President of Yoruba Community, Eket Akwa Ibom State between 2001 and 2003, he pioneered the Annual Educational Grant and Scholarship Award to 50 Akwa Ibom students. He became the Chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Mobil Producing Nigeria Branch. Elected as the Joint National Chairman of
the Upstream Oil & Gas Producing Sector (Producers' Forum) of PENGASSAN with responsibility for coordinating PENGASSAN activities in Companies like Shell, Chevron, Total, Agip, ExxonMobil, Addax, ConocoPhillips etc; this dogged fighter alongside his colleagues in the Producers' Forum articulated and created the prospect for the eventual launching of the Niger Delta master plan by the Federal Government in 22007.

He established OGO Community Development Initiative, a non-profit and non-governmental organization who amongst others have to their record drilling of water borehole in various communities within kogi state, Youth and Women empowerment program in Local Government Areas' tagged "waste to wealth training" with take-off grant, free medical outreach, free coaching classes for JAMB/GCE candidates etc. Olusola is a member of various social organisations prominent amongst which are the prestigious Lagos Country Club, Lagos Civil Service Club and QIT Beach Golf Club, and a recipient of many awards.
Olusola is married to his lovely Funmilola, a trained Chemical Engineer who by her love for ensuring that every child is given equal opportunity to attained his/her full potential has a Masters Degree in Education and is working hard at realizing her dream of establishing a leading Secondary School that will be saddled with the responsibility of helping to develop and mould the future our children in Kogi State and Nigeria to become globally competitive in an increasingly challenging environment. The family is blessed with children.
His hobbies includes touching the lives of the less privileged, struggling for the emancipation of the downtrodden, farming, photography, travelling, reading and playing Ayo games.



CLARENCE OLAFEMI

Clarence Olafemi was appointed acting Governor of Kogi State, Nigeriain February 2008 after the election of governor Ibrahim Idris was annulled. He handed back to Ibrahim Idris on 29 March 2008 after Idris had won a fresh election.

Olafemi was born in the Mopa-Muro Local Government Area of the State. He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was a governorship candidate in the old Kwara State.

Olafemi was elected to the Kogi State house of assembly for the Mopamuro Constituency in April 2007 on the People's Democratic Party (PDP) platform. In September 2007 the Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal inLokoja nullified his election. He appealed this decision, and in February 2008 the Court of Appeal in Abuja upturned the judgement. In July 2008 he was called before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to explain his role in the alleged misappropriation of N12 billion belonging to the state.

In April 2010 he was an aspirant to become a candidate for the 2011 Kogi State governorship elections And he is worming up ahead of the 2016 governorship race in the state. 



PRINCE VINCENT SOLA AKANMODE 

Akanmode was Deputy Chief of Staff in the Presidency under the Obasanjo administration. A stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, [PDP] in Kogi State, Akanmode is today eyeing the gubernatorial seat.



ALHAJI ABDULRAZAK ISAH KUTEPA 

Abdulrazak Kutepa, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 contested for the party's governorship ticket in Kogi State, emerging second after Governor Wada. While he has since then remained in the background, he is reputed to be a major party financier at both state and national level.

As 2016 is around the corner, his supporters are ready for a showdown with the incumbent governor. 



DR ADINOYI OJO ONUKABA

Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba is a former Special Adviser to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and was a Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Kogi State in the 2011 election and he is aspiring for 2016 same position. 



TUNDE OLUSUNLE 

Tunde Olusunle is determined to place collective interest above personal interest and ambition, and keep the momentum the current struggle for the sustenance of the rotational arrangement among the component units in Kogi West Senatorial District has gained in the past few days.

Olusunle is an adviser to the former president Olusegun Obasanjo. 



The politics of Kogi State come 2016 is going to be an interesting one, not only between All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but between the Kogi East Igala speaking area and the Western Okun with the Central Ebira speaking axis.

Let's see how the event is going to unfolding if God spare us!!

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