The Yoruba-speaking people in Okunland of Kogi State have resolved to press for the re-adjustment the state borders at the forthcoming National Conference to enable them join their kith and kin in the South West zone.
They have also reaffirmed their Yoruba culture, values and territory which, according to them were congruent with the South-West “without any natural or ecological barrier.”
This position was made known at a special conference of the umbrella socio-cultural organisation, Okun Development Association, ODA, held at Kabba, Kogi State, and presided over by former Health Minister, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, to articulate the position of the Okun people at the National Conference.
In a 16-point communiqué read by Mr. Tunde Ipinmisho, a member of the Okun Think Tank, “the Okun people and their Oworo compatriots agreed to demand that their territory be carved out as a new state in the South-West zone, based on their economic potentials and political marginalisation over the 100 years of Nigeria’s existence as a nation.”
The Okun people are in Yagba West, Yagba East, Mopamuro, Ijumu and Kabba/Bunu Local Government Areas of Kogi State, while the Oworo form half of the population of Lokoja Local Government Area.
The conference was attended by prominent Okun and Oworo sons and daughters including President, Okun Development Association, Ambassador Babatunde Fadumiyo; former General Officer Commanding, 3rd
Armoured Division, Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen J. O. S. Oshanupin; Obaro of Kabba, Oba Michael Olobayo; Olujumu of Ijumu, Oba Jerome Sumanu and Olubunu of Bunu, Oba Joseph Ikusemoro.
Others were Agbana of Isanlu, Oba Aaron Ikuborije; former Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Prince Sola Akanmode; former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Dino Melaye and the Anglican Bishop of Kabba, The Right Reverend S. K. Akobe.