I make it a habitual practise to always put my phone number on every political article I publish to the public to read. My resolve for doing this was majorly for the purpose of feedback mechanism. I know as many that read my article 3 out of every ten people must call me either to express their displeasure over my stance in the article and in some case some call me to commend me too.
I am always very civil and mature in my approach to those who frown at my stance on any critical political matter as I usually use my conversation with them to educate them more on why I stand at that angle and also to learn more things from them. With this feedback mechanism, I have secretly built cult followers among high and the mighty in Nigeria unknown to many who are ardent readers of my articles.
These people who cherish my style of writing hardly come to the public to comments on my facebook post but call me direct. Yesterday one of such people ardent readers of mine called me after reading one of my articles written months ago to shed more light on the political history of the present Kogi central people when we were in old Kwara State and how we come to the doldrums of always fighting all our political leaders even when many of them genuinely love us.
He started by saying Ebira race never for once suffered politically. We have been very fortunate in all angles. He said in the first republic, despite our negligible number then one of our own in person of Ohikere was elected Representative member to the house.
He said, when he was there he used his good office to influence jobs for our Youths. He added that during this period, Nigeria as a country run parliamentary system of government and the Ministers of federal republic of Nigeria were mostly chosen from the high ranking parliamentary members. He further noted that when the time comes for his re-election, he received stiff opposition by Ebira people to the extent that they joined hands with outsiders and campaign against him and that was how he lost the election in his bid to return to the house.
He said if Ohikere had gotten re-elected into the house there was every possibility that he was would be made a Minister of federal republic of Nigeria as he was a known leading political figure in Nigeria then. Thus, out of our share hatred for ourselves and lack of understanding we lost the golden opportunity believing that we doing harm to Ohikere unknown to us that we were only doing ourselves.
More also, he also took time to educate me on what happened during Governor Adamu Attah reign in old Kwara State and how he lost out again. He said, when Kwara State was newly created, Ebira people despite our numbers then produced the first civilian Governor of Kwara State. Explaining, he said the ticket for an average Ebira people to enter government house then was just to speak Ebira language and no matter your class in the society, you will be well attended to.
He hinted that Governor Adamu Attah did so well in the State by carrying every segment of the State along. He added it was during his time, the entire Ebira villages get electrified. During his reign, he took education of our Youths seriously and cited many Schools to the doorstep of our people. Buttressing, he said, it was during his administration the like of old secondary schools like Ihima Community, Government Day secondary Schools, Community Secondary Schools in Ebiraland came to being. He also did so well in human empowermentand when the time comes for his re- election Ebira people team up with outsiders and vote against him during the voting days. He said, the only complaint of the Ebira people for voting against Adamu Attah then was he did not hastily construct all major roads in Ebiraland as there was too much dust everywhere. They did not give Adamu Attah the ample opportunity to continue and finish his numerous plans for the society.
He equally said even at the point Governor Adamu Attah was jailed by the military junta, he keeps on showing love to our people. He continues to buy vehicles for them even while in prison. He equally noted that Ebiras later regretted and suffered for not voting in Governor Adamu Attah into power for other another term in office.
Now, the era of Governor Bello today. Our people (Ebiras) are currently championing the campaign against his coming back. We demystified him and call him all manners of names. ‘’This is the character with an average Ebira people right from history lane’’, he said. The question now is that can we learn from history?
To continue from part two...
The part two of this article will dwell on the current political tussle in the State. This will come up before the end of the week.
Shaibu Stephen Ojate is on whatsapp and reachable via phone number 09075716236