Joseph Amedu in Lokoja reports on the growing support for the candidacy of Governor Idris Wada as the governorship election approaches
As the fast approaching governorship race in Kogi state continues to heat up the confluence polity at the moment, more groups, political associations, traditional institutions, traders associations and prominent individuals have been trooping the Lugard House in Lokoja, the state capital to prevail on the incumbent Governor Idris Wada to run for his second term in office as a result of his human face system of leadership since he came on board.
In what is considered by political analysts as a deft move to soften the grounds for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, ahead of the upcoming governorship election, expected to hold in the last quarter of the 2015, members of the highly revered PDP Elders Council, made up of distinguished personalities from the State, have endorsed the incumbent Governor, Capt. Idris Wada as the party’s consensus gubernatorial candidate.
The development came on the heels of reports that the main opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) currently has about 30 aspirants, eyeing the APC ticket for the governorship election. PDP elders who endorsed Capt. Wada as the party’s standard bearer for 2015 Governorship Election in the state include former PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali, former Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, former Chief of Army Staff, General Salihu Ibrahim (rtd) former Minister of Police Affairs, Gen David Jemibewon (rtd), Senator Tunde Ogbeha, former Deputy Chief of Staff in the Presidency, Prince Olushola Akanmode, former Kogi State deputy governors, Chief Sam Akande and Chief Patrick Adaba and one time Deputy Governor of old Benue State, Alh. Sule Iyaji.
Also present at the meeting were Amb. Usman Bello, Arc Gabriel Aduku, Prof Olu Akerejola, Dr (Mrs) Grace Gunwa, Hajia Ladi Ibrahim, Alh Abdullahi Ohioma, Chief Joe Agada, former SSG, Chief Shola Ojo among others. The leaders while announcing their endorsement of Capt. Idris Wada during their solidarity visit to the Governor at weekend in Lokoja, described him as a formidable flag bearer within the rank of the PDP that can guarantee for the party’s successful outing in the governorship election.
Other reasons adduced by the Elders to have informed their choice of Wada as the party’s preferred candidate include that aside the misrepresentation made about salary payment, the state under the incumbent has done well in ensuring that civil servants get their dues amidst dwindling allocation to the state. The elders noted that the remuneration of the workforce which gulps about 87% of the state’s revenue, a challenge which the elders say had initially affected physical development, applauded the governor’s decision to approach the capital market to seek financial support to augment the state’s revenue.
The Elders commended the iconic projects embarked upon by Capt. Wada using the bond proceeds and assured that the projects would on completion have far reaching impact on the lives of the people and ensure better living standard for citizens of the state. According to the elders, Wada’s completion of a second term would ensure completion of all on-going projects across the three Senatorial Districts of the state.
The Governor’s endorsement for another term in office which seem to have gotten the support of the PDP members from the east, west and central senatorial districts of the state was further informed by his qualities as a humble gentleman, and fair mindedness as the only person trusted to facilitate genuine power shift in the state. With the endorsement by the highly revered Elders in the state, analysts posit that it is now clear that the PDP ticket may not be available as the above listed Elders are said to be working in concert with the leaders of the party at the grassroots to ensure that the PDP presents a consensus candidate ahead of the party’s primaries and consequently ensure that Wada emerges victorious at the governorship general election.
The elders decision to endorse Wada as the party’s flag bearer according to them was made possible considering his high leadership qualities as well as his cool headed and even temperament, and more so that he is corruption and scandal free leader. The elders who also described the incumbent governor as a prudent manager of resources and a skillful handler of equitable distribution of the state’s common wealth noted that another term for Capt. Wada is a vote for the protection of the collective heritage of the people of Kogi State.
According to Tijani Kabiru, a former National President of NANS, who added his voice to the endorsement, “Captain Wada is loved by the common man as his prudent management of resources enables him to offer to the ordinary people the real dividends of democracy”. Captain Wada has with the elders’ endorsement, scaled the first hurdle and now appears to have an edge over other contenders for the party’s ticket ahead of the party’s primaries.