The Yagba people and the Okun nation in Kogi West Senatorial zone of the state have been charged to rededicate and be committed to the defence and transformation of their fatherland.
Brigadier General Paul Okuntimo ( Rtd ) gave the charge Saturday at Isanlu headquarters of Yagba East Local Government Council of the state during his 70th birthday celebration organised for him by the Like Mind Group of Kogi west.
General Okuntimo who was full of appreciation to God for making him to have celebrated 70 Christmas on earth commended the like Minds Group under the leadership of Dr. Toyin Akanle for putting up a befitting birthday celebration for him.
He said the gesture has rekindled his determination to live the remaining part of his life to stand up for the defence , protection and promotion of Yagba and Okun nation.
He urged the citizenry to devise means to legitimately defend themselves against external and internal threats, adding that he is always available to render his professional service at no cost to the people.
According to him, Okun nation is surrounded by fulani herdsmen who kept destroying farm products of the people stressing that under the law, the people have the rights to life and to use legal means to defend their lives.
” The Yagba and Okun people under the Nigerian Constitution have a right to defend their lives and property. I call on communities to organise themselves using commonsense to protect our land. The remaining parts of my life on earth is to defend the interest of Okun land. I’m a trained Infantry Soldier with wealth of experience. Call me at anytime I will give my advice at no cost to safeguard our land.
” It saddened me that one of us went to his farm and was matcheted to death by the Bororo fulani herders and the people are wailing and crying. This must stop. I have surrendered my life to defend the lives and property of our land ” he assured.
General Okuntimo who was the first chairman of Governor Yahaya Bello staff screening exercise explained that his unceremonious sack was divine noting that he decided to keep quiet over the issue because of the chains of events that heralded the Administration.
He added that, he worked assiduously to come out with time tested reports, but unfortunately he was sack, even as he challenge any body to come out to compare his report with any other reports since he was sack from the committee.
He said he has put the matter behind him, but urged the government to have the fortitude to pay the lingering salary arrears while praying to God to repose the souls of those who died of non payment of salaries in the state.
In a remark, Chairman of the central planning committee Dayo Akanmode said the celebrator has many parts, stressing that the group hosted him for his contribution to peace building and his resilience in speaking the truth to power.
He added that the occasion is the modest recognition of General Okuntimo’s contribution to the development and progress of Yagba and Okun land challenge other sons and daughters to emulate his courage, principle and forthright through out his service years.