Kwara North, Which Kwara North?

Get more connected to the real facts

By Dunmoye Ayobami Yahaya

For context purposes, the Kwara North is one of the three Senatorial districts in Kwara State. Others are Kwara South and Central with the latter being the heart and headquarters of the state – the city centre.

The Kwara North itself is subdivided into five Local Government Areas – Moro, Patigi, Kaiama, Edu, and Baruten. Since its creation till date, the Kwara North has presented a paradoxical tableau of power dynamics, division, and entrenched inequalities that demand urgent scrutiny and rectification.

For over fifty years, political power in Kwara North has been monopolized by a select few, leaving the people of Moro, my ancestral home, languishing in the trenches of neglect and marginalization. While Patigi, Edu, Kaiama, and Baruten have enjoyed the spoils of political patronage and representation, Moro has been relegated to the sidelines, its true identity and values obscured by the shadows of injustice.

For example, at the legislative level, Kwara North is divided into two federal constituencies and one senatorial district, translating to three coveted positions of power every election year. Yet, these positions have consistently been occupied by individuals hailing from either the Nupe or Baruba-speaking communities, leaving the Yoruba-speaking populace marginalized and voiceless in the corridors of governance.

The same narrative of exclusion extends to the deputy gubernatorial candidacy, a position historically dominated by the Nupe ethnic group within Kwara North. It is instructive to note that there have been a total of nine times the Kwara North has had the chance to govern Kwara state either as governor (during Mohammed Lafiagi era) or deputy governorship levels. But at all times, the Nupes have either hijacked or dominated the positions to the exclusion of others in the region, especially Moro LGA.

The same is true of the headship of the Kwara State House of Assembly. Of the total six times a Kwara northerner has occupied that position, only the people who considered themselves more Kwara northerner than the rest have hijacked and dominated the positions to the detriment of Moro LGA.

The historical backdrop of Kwara North’s political landscape is marred by instances of brazen discrimination and obstructionism, where development initiatives intended for the collective benefit of the region were vehemently rejected by vested interests. This entrenched pattern of political exclusion has left the Yoruba-speaking inhabitants of Moro feeling disenfranchised and disenchanted, their aspirations for equitable representation dashed against the rocks of systemic injustice in their land of birth.

When the proposal to establish the Kwara State University in Malete, Moro Local Government Area, was tabled during the tenure of the erstwhile governor, Bukola Saraki, it was met with fierce resistance from elements within the Nupe and Baruba communities, despite Malete’s undeniable geographical location within Kwara North. They claimed that we’re not ‘northern enough!’

This episode epitomizes the broader pattern of obstructionism and prejudice that has stymied the progress of Moro and perpetuated the cycle of injustice within Kwara North. Developmental projects and opportunities have been routinely hijacked or diverted to the detriment of marginalized communities, perpetuating a vicious cycle of neglect and deprivation.

As the drumbeats of the Kwara North Agenda grow louder in anticipation of the 2027 elections, it is imperative to confront the uncomfortable truths that underscore the region’s political dynamics. The agitators of this agenda must reckon with the glaring disparities and injustices that have festered within Kwara North, lest their noble aspirations be tarnished by the stains of hypocrisy and inequity.

To advocate for a Kwara North that is truly inclusive and representative, the injustices within must be first purged, and the voices of all constituent communities, including Moro, must be heard and heeded. The quest for equity and justice cannot be built upon the foundations of exclusion and discrimination; it requires a genuine commitment to dismantling the barriers that have long divided and disempowered the people of Kwara North.

As the region navigates the complexities of its political evolution, it must confront its past injustices with honesty and humility. The Kwara North Agenda, for all its noble intentions, cannot thrive on hollow promises and token gestures; it must confront the ghosts of its past and forge a path forward that is rooted in inclusivity, integrity, and genuine representation for all.

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