LCDAs: Akoko leaders want fair representation in response to claims of marginalization
Leaders of the four local government areas of Akoko land in the northern senatorial district of Ondo State have expressed dissatisfaction with the creation of only five Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the area.
Under the umbrella of the Akoko Consultative Forum (ACF), the leaders protested at the Press Center of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state capital over the development.
They described the alleged marginalization by the state government as unfair to the people of Akoko Land.
Carrying placards adorned with various inscriptions, the protesters called on the state government to rectify what they believed to be a grave injustice in the creation of the LCDAs.
They emphasized that Akoko has been the largest ethnic group in the state since the establishment of Ekiti State. The demonstrators insisted that their demands for fair representation be met.
Among the inscriptions displayed on the placards were “Akoko must have 16 LCDA,” “Mr. Governor, Acting Governor, be fair,” “Don’t sign the 33 LCDA bill into law.” “No to injustice.”
According to the indigenes, the allocation of only five LCDAs cannot adequately represent the interests and population of Akoko land.
They argue that their longstanding position as the largest ethnic group in the state necessitates a more proportionate distribution of LCDAs.
During the protest, Lawrence Rogbitan, the leader of the ACF, said, “When Ondo State was established from the former Western Region, Akoko emerged as the second largest ethnic group after Ekiti.
“Initially, Akoko had two local government councils out of the total 18, which were shared between Akoko and Ekiti. These two local government councils were Akoko South and Akoko North.
“However, when Ekiti State was carved out of the old Ondo State, Akoko became the largest single ethnic group in Ondo State. It now comprises four local government areas out of the initial eighteen.
“The other ethnic groups that constitute the current Ondo State include the Owos, with two local government areas; the Akures, with two local government areas; the Ondos, with two local government areas; the Ileluji/Odigbos, with two local government areas; the Ikales, with two local government areas; the Ilaje/Ijaw, with two local government areas; and the Idanre/Ijares, with two local government areas.”
Rogbitan added that Akoko land, which consists of 49 political wards and a population of 701,785, has been allocated a mere five Local Council Development Areas, or LCDAs. In contrast, Owo and Ose, with a population of 366,401 and 23 political wards, were granted eight LCDAs.
In response to the alleged disparity, the protesters put forth demands for the creation of four additional LCDAs for Akoko Northeast and Northwest local governments, as well as five LCDAs for Akoko Southwest and three for Akoko Southeast council areas.