Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has presented the staff of office to the new Ohimege of Koton Karfe, Alhaji Seidu Akawu Salihu.
At the event on Wednesday in Koton Karfe, Governor Bello charged the new traditional ruler to ensure peace and security to aid rapid socio-economic development of the community.
Bello underscored the significance of peaceful co-existence and safeguarding of life and property as very essential factors for progress.
The outgoing governor urged the people of the kingdom to prioritize harmony and actively contribute to ensuring the safety of lives and properties.
He emphasized that the collective commitment to peace is indispensable for the development and prosperity of the area.
Governor Bello further encouraged the new ruler to unite his people and play a vital role in maintaining the peace and security of his domain.
Highlighting the continuity of engagement with traditional institutions, Gov. Bello assured that the incoming administration of Ahmed Usman Ododo would also collaborate with the traditional institution to recognize their role as partners in securing the well-being of the state’s populace.
In a gesture of commitment to the community, Governor Bello presented four official vehicles to HRM Seidu Akawu Salihu, and further announced the reconstruction of the palace of the Ohimege-Igu to a befitting standard.
In his speech, HRM Salihu pledged to unite the people of Koton Karfe kingdom and assured Gov. Bello of his unwavering support for the government of Kogi State.
The new Ohimege-Igu thanked Gov. Bello for standing by the truth and making way for justice.
“I thank Allah for seeing this day and thank the government of Kogi State under the able leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the boldness in righting a monumental wrong.
“By this singular action, he has saved our well cherished age long traditional institution from public ridicule and prevented the rubbishing of the decision of our kingmakers.
“Your Excellency, distinguished guests, for any community to develop, there must be peace, unity and co-operation.
“Koton-Karfe (Igu) kingdom is well documented as a peace loving, united and accommodating community.
“I call on every son and daughter of the kingdom, at home and in the diaspora, to be united and promote our collective values and cultural antecedents to ensure the continuous growth of our kingdom.
“Let us eschew crime, criminality and other vices that are alien to our culture and inimical to the development of our kingdom.
“I shall work with all well-meaning sons and daughters of the kingdom to promote the welfare of our people.
“I shall promote justice and fairness in all ramifications as these are the basic ingredients for peace and progress in our communities.
“Koton-Karfe kingdom has direct border with the Federal Capital Territory yet, has a near zero federal presence.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the Federal government to take advantage of the peace, security and the physical location of Koton-karfe Kingdom to locate prominent parastatals and institutions in the Kingdom.
“I also appeal to both the federal and state government to consider Sons and daughters of Koton-Karfe in distribution of appointments both at federal and state levels.
“I want to thank each and everyone of you for your unwavering support and trust through which I find the strength and determination to take on this noble role.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to our revered elders and kingmakers for their wisdom and guidance.
“Their legacy serves as a guiding light, and I vow to carry forward the traditions and values that have shaped our kingdom for generations,” Ohimege said.
The Minister for Communication and National Orientation, Alhaji Muhammed Idris, represented by the Director- General, Voice of Nigeria, Mallam Jibrin Ndace, congratulated the Ohimege-Igu on his ascension, describing it as divine.
The Minister commended Gov. Bello for his courage, bravery, vision, and wisdom in governing Kogi State in the last eight years.
The new Ohimege Saidu Akawu Salihu was born on 11th March, 1964 to the family of Late Chief Salihu Umar Danmadaki and Late Hajia Aishetu Salihu of Odaki, Koton-Karfe in Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi State.