By Steve Oni, Ilorin
A Group, the Kwara South Consultative Forum, has cautioned and admonished people in positions of leadership of the various ethnic clans in Nigeria to always be circumspect and issue statements that would unite rather than those capable of igniting division and misgivings.
The Forum, which was reacting to the communiqué by the Ilorin Emirate Development Progressives Union (IEDPU) issued at the end of its 2017 National Conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, picked holes with the objection raised by the IEDPU against the zoning of Ilorin, and Kwara state at large, to the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Ibadan. IEDPU had raised objection to the zoning of the Emirate to Ibadan Zonal Office, on the grounds that “the Emirate remains part and parcel of the Northern Region and the North Central. ”
The Kwara South Consultative Forum, however, noted that Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company covering Ilorin and Kwara state at large was not a new development, recalling that “even when the federal government was directly controlling the supply of electricity under the leadership of core northerners, military or civilian, the Ibadan Zonal Office of ECN, NEPA or even PHCN, had always covered Ilorin and Kwara state as a whole with supply of electricity from Osogbo.” The Forum, therefore, wondered if IEDPU could have rejected distribution of electricity from Osogbo to Ilorin because Osogbo is of the old Western Region while Ilorin is of the old Northern Region.
On the zoning of NTA Ilorin to Ibadan NTA, the Forum in a statement after its emergency meeting, signed by its Secretary General, Engr. Otunba Adebayo Daramola, said it could not understand what was basically wrong in administration for Ilorin to be part of Ibadan Zone of NTA.
The Forum said: “It should be recollected that even before NTA Ilorin came into being in 1975, we were viewing television in Ilorin from Ibadan NTA through the transmission station in Asileke between Otte and Ogbomosho.
“Under the then judicial system, Court of Appeal was in Kaduna and Appeal cases of Kwara were being heard in Kaduna despite the risk of going to Kaduna for such cases instead of Ibadan that was near. Later, a Court of Appeal was established in Ilorin covering Ekiti state among others with Ekiti from the South West and Ilorin the seat of the Appeal Court without Ekiti raising neither any eyebrow nor any protest against grouping them with Kwara.
“The people of the Emirate that you are propagating are predominantly Yoruba, and one would wonder if the majority of the Ilorin Emirate population will read any negative meaning to Ilorin and indeed Kwara state being zoned with Ibadan for the administration of electricity supply and television viewing. The origin of the majority of the population of the Emirate was of Oyo Empire. It is therefore unfair and misleading to equate Ilorin Emirate with Kwara state which has three Senatorial Districts of which only one is entirely in the Emirate.
“It was for such reason that Kwara South Consultative Forum wished to inform the IEDPU of our participation in the September 7th 2017 Yoruba Summit, which resolved on the Restructuring of Nigeria into Regions. If that happens, the Yoruba of Kwara and Kogi that were present at the Summit resolved to be part of the South West Region or whatever name that will be adapted. There are bound to be diverse views on issues like this. It is therefore for such reason that final resolutions are taken through referendum,” the Forum added.
The Forum congratulated the National President of IEDPU, Ambassador Sheikh Uthman AbdulAzeez, for taking the mantle of leadership of IEDPU and prayed for a successful tenure of office for him and other members of the executive.
By Steve Oni, Ilorin