By Temibi Samuel
I have read several articles from different quarters calling for the adoption of rotation for the much coveted House of Representatives seat of Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency. As much as the call is right, I will say that it is coming at the wrong time and from the wrong quarters.
Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Reps seat is a political office that’s being rotated between two local governments namely Kabba-Bunu and Ijumu local governments, each local government has its own zones and zoning arrangement, especially in Ijumu.
Ijumu holds its zoning arrangement paramount, this according to the leaders of the area, will ensure fair treatment of all zones and discourage marginalization of any form.
In Ijumu, for instance, there are three zones – Ijumu Oke, Ijumu Gbede and Ijumu Aarin – while in other local government, there’s Kabba and Bunu zones. It is believed that the next member who will represent the constituency at the green chamber should come from Ijumu. Not anywhere from Ijumu, but Ijumu Aarin.
Why? Because they believe Ijumu Aarin has long been pushed out of the juicy position. Of a truth, the last time Ijumu produced the occupier of the seat was in 2007 and it came from Ijumu Gbede in the person of Senator Dino Melaye. Ever since then, Ijumu has not been able to ascend the position. This has prompted the continuous advocacy for Ijumu person to become the next member of the green chamber representing the constituency.
Many people have forgotten that Ijumu has been able to hold sway the senatorial seat for a good sixteen years consecutively. This is a seat that is meant for three federal constituencies. Unfortunately, this position in the past sixteen years have been made a baton of race between two Ijumu sons, Senators Smart Adeyemi and Dino Melaye. While the latter spent four years at the senate, the former is currently serving his 3rd term which will be twelve years upon completion in 2023.
Although, during the time Ijumu is having its free ride to the senate, the house of reps is being occupied by a Kabba-Bunu person, Hon Teejay Yusuf.
Teejay as well is in his 3rd term which will be twelve years upon completion of his tenure.
It is noteworthy that while Ijumu has been able to taste the lower and holds on to the upper seats of the National Assembly, the other local government which Ijumu shares federal constituency with (Kabba-Bunu) hasn’t been able to taste the seat since the return of democratic rule in 1999, ditto Yagba Federal constituency. Lokoja-KotonKarfe federal constituency was able to produce the senator representing Kogi west from 1999 to 2007 in the person of Senator Tunde Ogbeha and ever since then they too have been marginalized.
Now, people of Ijumu are advocating for an Ijumu man to become the next rep member when it is obvious that they are not willing to relinquish the senatorial position at their possession. What should be the fate of others? Kabba-Bunu should give up the rep seat to Ijumu and watch Ijumu taking both the rep and senate in 2023? or Yagba and Lokoja-Koton federal constituencies should keep watching Ijumu while it enjoy what belongs to them?
It is very unfair and reprehensible for those who have marginalized other constituencies to now be calling for political correctness on the social media. It is even more annoying to know that those who were used to disorganize the rotational arrangement of Ijumu local government in the December 12th local government election are the same people championing this course. Whoever wants to come to equity must come with clean hands.
Before now, there should have been a town hall meetings or symposiums across Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency where issues of rotation would be discussed and agreement reached by leaders of the affected constituencies.
Power is not voluntarily given, it is taken through the instrument of power, influence and popularity. Everybody should be allowed to test his/her popularity come 2023 election for Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency.
– Temibi Samuel writes from Ijumu Local Government.