Joseph Amedu, in Lokoja presents a political sketch of governorship aspirants for the November poll in the state.
Kogi State in the North Central zone will at the last quarter of this year precisely in November 2015 be thrown into a critical global attention as its governorship election will take place during that period if all goes well. The governorship election is going to be unique in on all ramifications in view of the features attached to the race. This is because it is going to be the only governorship election in Nigeria taking place at that particular period. As a result of this singular reason the state will be placed at a critical watch by not only all Nigerians but the global world.
The election as the only one holding at a given period will no doubt receive adequate preparation by the federal government through its agency the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in order to ensure that it is peaceful, free, fair and credible.
The two major political parties in the state where aspirants are currently indicating interest for the contest are the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Congress (APC).
On the side of the PDP the coast is yet to be clear because the atmosphere is very silence as there is no sign of indication of interest of aspiration from members at the moment including the incumbent governor Capt Idris Wada who has the right to run for a second term either through declaration or public pronouncement or press statement.
In the case of the APC four aspirants have thrown their hat in the ring. They are, the former governor of Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu from Kogi East, Alhaji Suleiman Baba Ali from Kogi West, Alhaji Yahaya Bello from Central and Olusola George Olumoroti from Kogi West.
They have since made their intention known to the public through either formal declaration or pronouncement at different fora.
The former governor of Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu threw his hat to the ring of the governorship race recently at his Ogbonicha country home in Ofu local government of Kogi state in a penultimate week interview granted journalists who covered a reception he organised for the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Assembly and state Assembly members-elect in the state
In the said interview Audu stated that the “voice of the people are the voice of God, the people are yearning for me to come back because of my performance between 1999 and 2003 and with PDP now, a lot of people are wallowing in abject poverty in the mist of many. As a matter of fact, Kogi is my baby and if I turned my back against my baby, it means I am an irresponsible father, “ he said
He said he is coming back to savage, rescue the state and place it back to where he left it in 2003 and even go beyond that, saying that crude oil was selling between $9 to $12 during his time as governor of the state as against now that it is selling between $50 and $100 and “yet they are saying the economy is bad.’’
Audu said the Peoples Democratic Party in the state has performed woefully hence the people are actually yearning for his coming back and change in governance which he described as tsunami that has come to state.
We have just finish the state assembly, National Assembly and presidential election and we performed very well. We are prepared for the governorship election in the state even if it is tomorrow, APC would win the election,’ he boasted.
The former governor however assured that with the emergence of the Presidentelect, Muhammadu Buhari, a well discipline manager and a great leader, things would come to shape in the country. He added that though peoples’ expectations are so high but what Buhari would do in four years would be more than PDP’ sixteen years of misrule.
Suleiman Baba Ali one of the APC aspirants for the number one seat of Kogi disclosed his interest to contest at a meeting he held with major political stakeholders of the party in Lokoja recently.
He said if his aspiration comes through he would not rely on federal allocation alone to develop the state but would embark on massive sources of internally generated revenue as well as block all the leakages in the system.
Baba Ali assured that if given the opportunity to serve the state he will unstrap revenue resources lying idle in the state which according to him are enough to enviably transform Kogi and make it one of the richest states in the country.
“I find it very frustrating when people say Kogi state is broke and cannot meet up with its constitutional responsibilities to the people. There are a lot of revenue leakages which need to be sealed” he said.
Baba Ali insisted that if given the opportunity to rule, the state would work hand in hand with all corporate companies to build prosperous Kogi state.
He affirmed that he would not relent in reaching out to the necessary bodies that will make the ailing Ajaokuta Steel Complex work.
“With my wealth of experience in both public and private sectors I won’t be coming into governance as a leaner” he said.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello who is also an APC aspirant for the governorship race revealed his ambition to run during his consultative visit to the Ohimege Igu of Kotokarfe, Alhaji Abdulrasaq Sani Isah-Koto to seek the royal father’s advice and blessings
He told the royal father that his idea of power shift in Kogi state hinges on his believe of changing for the better and not just for changing sake.
“Our focus should be on changing from bad to good leadership” he emphasised.
While noting that every tribe in Kogi desired good road, potable water, affordable and qualitative education and better condition of living, Bello said he intend to make Kogi state as one of the three most developed states in Nigeria.
“My own idea of power shift is not from tribe to another, it is from bad leadership to good leadership. Every tribe in Kogi state, be it Igala, Ebira Okun, Bassa, Nupe and others deserves good governance” he further stressed.
Responding, the Ohimege Igu of Kotonkarfi, Alh. Abdulrasaq Sani Isah-Koto who advised politicians in the state to play by the rule, advised that they should not overheat the polity.
According to the royal father, his doors are open for consultation by all aspirants as long as they are from kogi state, noting that what the people want is the deliverance of the good dividends of democracy.
At the weekend, Engineer Olusola George Olumoroti also of the APC formally declared his ambition to contest for the governorship position in Kogi state at the NUJ Press Centre, Lokoja.
Olumoroti promised that if his dream to rule the state is realised at the end of the day he will attract and influence immediate federal government attention in re-alignment and reclaiming of Oil wells in Ibaji which will go a long way in making Kogi to be one of the oil producing states in Nigeria, rehabilitation and commissioning of Ajaokuta Steel Complex, completion of Omi dam for extensive irrigation system and provision of potable water, establishment of coal power generating plant and completion of the River Niger dredging project amongst others.
The realisation of the various aspirants golden ambitions in the pending governorship election therefore depends on the peaceful and successful conduct of their parties primaries which will produce them to run for the general election.