At the creation of new states in 1967, the then West Central State which was soon after changed to Kwara State (the traditional name for River Niger) had the state capital officially in Lokoja. Lt Col D.L. Bamigboye (of blessed memory) was appointed the first Governor. 

The new state was the result of the fusion of the old Ilorin province comprising of Ilorin, Bussa/Kaima, Lafiagi/Pategi divisions and Kabba Province comprising of Kabba, Igala, Igbirra and Kotonkarfi. 

However, in the course of the preparations for the creation of the new government and the actual deployment of personnel and services, one stack reality confronted everyone. 

There was no direct connection to Lokoja except by boat and ferry because the Niger Bridge at Lokoja we all know today had not been built. 

Meanwhile, the bulk of the deployment was from Kaduna which was the then Regional Capital of the Northern Region.

While a lot of head scratching was going on, a group of top Ilorin bureaucrats in Kaduna had a top level discussion at the residence of Alh JImada Pategi (who became the first Commissioner for Agriculture) with some other top level bureaucrats from the new state who were in top positions in the then Northern Regional government (notable among them were late Alhaji Ahman Pategi (Former Minister of Health and Agriculture of the then Northern Region), Chief Aderibigbe, Chief Obajemu, S.B Awoniyi, Alh Buhari Edun, Sa’adu Alanamu, AGF Abdulrazaq and some others) where they proposed Ilorin as a new capital because of the ease of access from Kaduna through the Jebba Bridge. 

While that appeared an easy solution, it raised some objections because of serious issues of access to this new proposed capital because of the distance to other major parts of the new state particularly vast areas of the former Kabba Division like the Bunnu - Ijumu and the Igala, Ebirra and Kotonkarfi divisions which eventually became the “Kwara Overseas” (because they could only be reached by boat across the Niger River). 

Naturally the proposal from Ilorin was to meet with stiff opposition initially before it was mutually agreed that a request be made to the Yakubu Gowon government to have the capital of the new state moved to Ilorin. 

There were concessions made at the point of accepting Ilorin as the new capital. The most notable concession was that Ilorin will not contest the seat of the governor of the state in any future elections. 

The position of Secretary to the Government therefore became the political office ceded to Ilorin. That was the arrangement until the election of Admiral Lawal as the first governor from Ilorin. 

Clearly the fear of marginalization which the founding fathers of the state had feared has been borne out. 

By the time Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq would have concluded his current term, Ilorin would have produced governors for a total of 16 years out of 24 years of the current republic with no respite in sight for other parts of the state, especially the Kwara North. 

 Therefore, my fellow compatriot from Kwara North please let us all wake up and take what is rightfully ours and as popularly sang by one of the world popular musician late Bob Marley who say " Get up, stand up, Stand up for your right! Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight!.

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