Gus Yahya recollects his arrival to Sepaku 17 years ago

Ahad, 30 Januari 2022 | 18:40 WIB

Gus Yahya recollects his arrival to Sepaku 17 years ago

Gus Yahya recollects his arrival to Sepaku 17 years ago.(Photo: NU Online)

Penajam Paser Utara, NU Online

Penajam Paser Utara regency, East Kalimantan, has been declared by President Joko Widodo to be the new State Capital (IKN) called Nusantara, which is based in Sepaku sub-district. This location is about 70 kilometers from Balikpapan City and takes approximately two hours.


Access to the IKN location is through asphalt roads, the majority of which twist, climb, and descend. On the left and right side,the road is still dominated by forests and oil palm plantations. Even at one point, there is a herd of monkeys seen on the side of the road. However, such conditions are far better than they were 17 years ago.


The General Chairman of the Executive Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU), KH Yahya Cholil Staquf (Gus Yahya), conveyed his mixed feelings of happiness when he was able to return to Sepaku sub-district. In 2004, 17 years ago, Gus Yahya visited the residence of the Penajam Paser Utara's PCNU Chairman KH Syamsul Hadi in a very poor condition.


"In the past, the road was still muddy. I arrived here in a drizzling condition and to get to Pak Syamsul Hadi's house I had to cross using a board, because this is all mud. That was in 2004. This is very moving for me. Obviously, now in Penajam Paser Utara and Sepaku, life is easier than 17 years ago," said Gus Yahya, in the courtyard of the Syaikhona Cholil Mosque, Sukaraja Village, Sepaku sub-district, Penajam Paser Utara, Sunday (30/1/2022).


Kiai Syamsul Hadi said that Gus Yahya's arrival to Sepaku was to repeat the nostalgia, when he was on a journey full of misery. Meanwhile, Kiai Syamsul, at that time, admitted that he did not have a pillow and mattress, so his guest could only sleep on a mat. Gus Yahya's father, Kiai Cholil Bisri, also came here in 2003.


"He casually came here. It turns out that on this bed, on that simple mat, God chose us to be the new capital of the country. So if Gus Yahya held an event here, it would do nothing but just want to repeat history," said Kiai Syamsul.


An overview of Penajam Paser Utara

Quoted by NU Online from the 2022 Penajam Paser Utara Regent's draft Work Plan, Penajam Paser Utara regency was formed based on the Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 7 of 2002 concerning the Establishment of Penajam Paser Utara regency in East Kalimantan province.


Astronomically, Penajam Paser Utara is located between 116°19'30" and 116°56'35" east longitude, and between 00°48'29" and 01°36'37" south latitude. Administratively, Penajam Paser Utara regency has territorial boundaries. In the north it is bordered by Loa Kulu sub-district and Loa Janan sub-district, Kutai Kartanegara regency.


Then in the east it is bordered by Samboja sub-district, Kutai Kartanegara regency, Balikpapan City, and the Makassar Strait. Then in the south, Penajam Paser Utara regency is bordered by Longkali sub-district, Paser regency and the Makassar Strait.


While in the west, it is bordered by Longkali sub-district, Paser regency and Bongan sub-district, West Kutai regency.


Penajam Paser Utara regency has an area of ​​3,333.06 square kilometers, covering a land area of ​​3,060.82 square kilometers and an ocean area of ​​272.24 square kilometers.


In particular, Sepaku sub-district, where the new PBNU and the IKN Nusantara offices were launched, has an area of ​​1,176.36 square kilometers.


The demographic aspect of Penajam Paser Utara

During the last five years (2016-2020), the population in Penajam Paser Utara regency has experienced relatively small growth. In 2016, the total population was 166,055 people. Meanwhile, in 2020, the population increased to 178,681 people.


The population growth of Penajam Paser Utara regency has fluctuated. In the last three years there has been an increase in growth. In 2020 the increase reached 2.18 percent. This relatively fast population growth is due to the increasing number of incoming migrations and the birth rate.


This is a special concern for the Penajam Paser Utara administration. Because the determination of the location of the new IKN there will have an impact in the form of a significant increase in the number of residents due to in-migration of residents from outside the region.


Reporter: Aru Lego Triono

Editor: Sudarto Murtaufiq