Youths from Kogi East Senatorial District under the banner of Igala Youth Vanguard (IYV), have declared their unequivocal support for Sen. Dino Melaye of the PDP, ahead of the November 11th, 2023 gubernatorial election in Kogi State.
Rising from its extraordinary consultative meeting held at Ayingba Hotel on Saturday, 8th April, 2023, IYV, comprised of youths from the 9 Igala-speaking local governments of Kogi State, appealed to all the delegates to the PDP Gubernatorial Primary slated for Sunday, 16th April, 2023 at Lokoja, to unanimously support and vote for Sen. Melaye, so he could clinch the party’s 2023 Gubernatorial ticket.
These positions amongst others were contained in a communiqué signed by the President of the association, Hon. M.D. Mohammed; and counter-signed by the General Secretary and the PRO, Mr. Ibe Michael and Hajia Aisha Usman respectively.
The group hinged its endorsement of Sen. Melaye on the principles of equity, fairness and justice, which they described as inevitable cornerstones of democracy and peaceful coexistence. They noted that the perpetual political dominance of a single ethnic group over the others in Kogi State was opposed to the principles of equity and fairness, and constitutes a recipe for disillusionment and ethnic discords.
As part of its resolutions, the group observed that the Igalas have governed Kogi State for 17 consecutive years from 1999 to 2015, while the Ebiras have ruled the state for 8 straight years from 2015 to date. However, the Okuns, being the third major ethnic group in the state, were yet to produce a democratically-elected Governor of Kogi State; hence, the 2023 Gubernatorial Election offers an ample opportunity to address the leadership imbalance by tilting the choice of the next governor in favour of the Okun ethnic group, from where Sen. Melaye hails.
The coalition of Igala youths said they settled for Sen. Melaye to be their next governor in order not to compromise competence, character and experience on the altar of ethnicity; adding that Sen. Melaye was the only gubernatorial aspirant that possesses the desirable political pedigree and leadership capacity to steer Kogi State to greater heights if elected Governor come 11th November, 2023.
“Sen. Melaye is indubitably the highest-ranking politician in Okun land currently, having served in the House of Representatives as well as in the Senate, and also held other sensitive political appointments wherein he had discharged himself creditably and competently,” the communiqué read.
IYV noted that in addition to Sen. Melaye’s sterling political profile, he typifies an accomplished Nigerian youth, with indelible landmarks as a fiery student/youth activist; hence the interests of Kogi youths would be better protected under a Melaye Governorship.
“…our decision to endorse and support Sen. Melaye for Governorship is irrespective of political party or religious differences, but in the best interest of the peace, unity and progress of Kogi State,” stated the IYV.