The Kogi State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 election, Prince Abubakar Audu, has said that he is coming back to govern the Confluence State in order to implement a power rotation deal, Kogi Tripartite Agreement, reached in 1991 by the constituent groups of Igala, Ebira and Okun people of the state.
Consequently, Audu has reiterated his commitment to the gentleman’s agreement entered into shortly after the creation of the state, calling for understanding and mutual respect among all concerned.
A statement by Prince Audu Abubakar Media Office on Sunday, a copy of which was made available to LEADERSHIP, traced the narrative of the forthcoming Kogi State gubernatorial election to power rotation and infrastructural development in the state.
“We don’t need acrimony to implement the Kogi Tripartite Agreement. I would make it a reality and I am the only Igala man that can stand in Idah, Anyigba, Ankpa and tell our people enough is enough and reciprocate the cooperative gesture of the Igbira and Okun people by 2019. ”
“While it is an impeccable fact that the enduring infrastructures in Kogi State were products of Prince Abubakar’s stewardship, confirming the hope of sustainable development in Kogi State hangs on his return as the Governor of the State; it is also a matter of sacred truth that Abubakar is the only Igala man that can boldly, explicitly and committedly ensure the position of governor of Kogi State goes to the remaining groups, that is, Okun and Ebira,” the statement said.
Audu was quoted as saying that the challenges of political domination and marginalisation of the Igalas in old Benue State on one hand, Okuns and Ebiras in old Kwara State on the other hand led to intense agitation for creation of Kogi State for the three groups who had lived together peacefully under the defunct Kabba province for more than 70 years.
“So I have told all Kogites that when we mutually met at one Engineer Sule’s house in Okene, in 1991, the three groups –Igalas, Ebiras and Okuns – met and said to themselves that they believe in power rotation.
“Following that premise, it was agreed that to give it to Igala. Further, after Igalas, it was agreed that the governorship seat should return to the other components – Okun and Ebira – which should meet to determine the next to have the seat after Igala.
“I am the first beneficiary of the agreement and thank God I am still living hale and hearty because most of us who reached the deal in good faith on behalf of our people are now late. When we returned to democracy in 1999, I was uncompromising and firm in my intention to implement the 1991 agreement but I was blatantly rigged out. And that of course stultified development of the state in all facets.
“I have stood in the middle of Idah and Anyigba to tell Igalas that, since we are brothers who had lived under the Kabba province, we must make sure we make our gentleman agreement reality so that we can have lasting peace and confidence in one another. I don’t lie or deceive people. I am the only person with moral compass”
The former governor in also denied insinuations that his coming back as Kogi Governor was hinged on his desperation for vengeance.
“It is important to state that am not going back to office as governor to take vengeance as being peddled by my opponents . I think nobody offended me but I may have offended anybody which I beg for forgiveness. If you say you want to take vengeance it means someone has offended you but I was not offended. My total intention is to ensure that I develop Kogi infrastructure and implement that agreement by the special grace of God. By God’s grace after winning this 2015 election and by 2019 that would be the first time power would begin to rotate among the three stakeholders of the Kogi Tripartite Agreement,” Audu added.