ATABOR JULIUS LOKOJA.
Unexpectedly, on the 16th October, 2018 a tribal head of the Yoruba ethnic nationality in kogi state was appointed third class traditional ruler in kogi by the governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello . Alhaji Bello Audu Oke alias Owoniboy, a reknown bread maker in lokoja, was full of praise for the Governor who has broken the bars to reward the yoruba race who first migrated to Lokoja in 1896. He said the general elections would come and go without bloodshed contrary to the expectations of those who didnt wish well for the country.
He added that president Muhammadu Buhari has performed well in three years above all his predecessors hence he deserves second term to complete his development programmes for the country. He bares his mind in an interview with our correspondent Julius Ataboh in Lokoja.
The General elections is a few days from now and the atmosphere across the country is charged with innuendos of palpable crisis , what is your message to the people.
Honestly , who ever has the interest of this country at heart must be worried going by the comments dominating our airwaves. However, I must be frank and if we must avert the looming crisis, Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC ) the Nigeria Police and all other paramilitary agencies , and most importantly the politicians should make votes to count. The police and INEC should not aid rigging. Politicians should avoid the language of war. God in his infinite mercy decided to put us together for a reason. And by this arrangement we are one people , hence we should avoid divisive tendencies and to rally support for the eventual winner.
By the grace of God every Nigerian is praying for the success of the elections. The muslims, Christians and people of other faiths are praying fervently for God’s intervention. Our common aspiration is that there should be Nigeria after the election. I’ m convinced that this election will come and go without bloodshed. It is my charge for those saddle with the responsibility of conducting free and fair elections that we have no other country to call our own than Nigeria.. I appeal to INEC and the Nigeria Police to consider the future of Nigeria in this election to do what is right and just in the sight of right thinking members of the society.
Governor Yahaya Bello only last week marked his three years in office , is there anything worthy of celebration of the administration.
I’m highly honored to talk on governor Yahaya Bello’s achievements. To me, his three years is a compendium of functional development across the state. He is carrying along all the segments of the state in his development agenda. One important trait of him is that he does not discriminate being you an Igala, Ebira, Okun or other smaller ethnic tribes, he distributes development projects to all without sentiments. I want all the citizenry to appreciate his government and to support him to succeed.
Recently you have been upgraded to a third class chief in a strange land what does it portend for you and your people in the state.
I must commend the governor for his courage to upgrade my stool to a third class status. My ancestors migrated from Ogbomosho to Lokoja as far back as 1896. There was never a time that the government in power deemed it fit to upgrade the stool . It was only during the administration of Prince Abubakar Audu who came close to elevate us but was hampered by the administrative bottlenecks. We continue to bear the situation until October 16, 2018 that the governor announced the upgrading of the stool for Yorubas from Lagos, Ogun Oyo, Osun, Ondo , Ekiti and kwara residents in kogi state. We thank him for doing the entire Yoruba race proud in kogi state. This singular action has given us confidence that we actually have a part in the state. Most of us were born and bred here in the state.
There are insinuations that succession would have problem when you must have left the scene.
By the grace of God when the time comes there wouldn’t be any crisis. We are confident that God will show us the direction.
Many are of the opinions that Buhari’s low performance will affect his chances in the February 16 2019 presidential election.
Those people are liars. I’m closed to 70 years and I have seen governments in the past and can beat my chest that Buhari has done better than all of them put together. I assure him of the votes of my people. My advise for Nigerians is for us to honour him with our votes. It is my hope that the election will be without acrimony. We should as much as possible avoid thuggery. We are to vote and not to fight.
How is Your relationship with other traditional rulers in the state?.
The paramount ruler of Lokoja HRH the Maigeri of Lokoja Yusuf Kabir is very cordial, just like that of father and son. He is my mentor and a father. He preaches peace, just like indo. My advise is that we should not fight ourselves, rather to live in harmony for the growth of the state and the country. Apart from Maigeri, I have cordial relationship with other tribal groups in the state. We do have regular meetings were we discussed issues of peace security and overall development of the state..