OBIDATT2023 Showdown Music Concert

OBIDATT2023 Showdown Music Concert

Sunday 19 July 2015





The people of Kogi State, Nigerian North Central region will in a few months from now decide through their Permanent Voter Cards of who occupies Luggard House and pilot the affairs of the state in the next four years.
This attention-grabbing contest is seen by avid pundits as a decider as it will decide between sound governance that is people centered and a governance that only promotes the whims and caprices of political parties; it will also decide between laughter and languish as well as between destiny and destitute. However, some experts also believed that, this could be a striking moment to deciding the destiny of the twenty-four years old state whose people are always crying for infrastructural and economical development.
With numerous political Veterans and Neophytes in the state, gunning for the golden seat in the Luggard House and several agitations being advanced either to retaining power in the Eastern Senatorial District of the state or to shifting power to either Kogi Central or Kogi West; the contest, as indicated by available political barometers, could best be viewed as an ‘Ideological Warfare’.
Popularly known as the Confluence State, Kogi state has been ruled by three democratically elected governors (two others plus the incumbent governor) and was created on August 27TH, 1991 with its capital located at the ancient City, Lokoja. With the total area of 29.833 squared Kilo Meter and 70 per squared kilo meter as its density; available data show that, the population of the people of the state according to 1991 Population Census was 2,099,046 while the present estimated population according to the 2006 Population Census is 3,595,796. Interestingly, however, in view of the geography of the state, Kogi state is the only state in Nigeria which shares a boundary with ten different states in the country as it is bordered by Federal Capital Territory to the north, Nassarawa State to the north east, Benue State to the east and Enugu State to the south among others.
Though, the time table for this election was still awaited at the point of writing this article but surreptitious politicking and furtive indoor campaigns have taken the centre stage. However, it is believed that, the peaceful conduct of this governorship election as well as the general acceptability of its outcome will be predicated by the manner in which political gladiators allow internal democracy within the various political parties during their various primary elections as many eyes were already on the various tickets across the political parties.
Though, the state has recorded a miniature success from the time of its creation but it suffice to aver that, between the aborted Third Republic in 1993 and the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999 till date, the state has cried for effective and efficient leadership especially for a leader that will turn the various 29 different mineral deposits within her soil into a prosperity platform through sound industrialized policy for the benefit of the people of the state.
With copious number of people jostling for tickets and the approval to run on the platform of their political parties, those aspirants need to be informed of the herculean tasks ahead of them as governorship race should not only be seen as an avenue for one to merely introduce himself to the political domain but should rather be seen as a call to leadership. Leadership by extension should be seen as a call to service. However, it is not a service of one’s personal bank accounts and immediate family rather it is a service which involves serving the entire people of the state through optimal usage of their collective patrimony.
The ongoing agitations either to retaining power in the east or shifting power to other senatorial zones should be checked for the health of our burgeoning and budding democracy as such agitation breeds untold bitterness in our political drive. While I totally adhere to the egalitarian nature of the state, it is also justifiable to note that, such agitation, whichever divides it may come, can only be seen as a political approach for regional advantage which may be far from being the solution to the current leadership quagmire facing the state. The challenge facing the state is not localized as there is no region within the state that does not have its own problem. To this end, Kogites should join hands together to pray unto God for a leader after His own heart with a spotless integrity and dexterous strength to pilot the affairs of the state regardless of where he comes from.
Electoral awareness has astronomically grown in Nigeria in whose politics, Kogi politics is a subset.

This further buttresses the fact that, politics of endorsement regardless of the personality profiles of the people that endorse the aspirants may not be a potent indicator to either show their victory at the primary elections or their victory at the polls. The March 28 presidential election in Nigeria should have schooled our people’s minds that electoral victory is a product of people acceptance of the persona of the candidate involved in the election and not when such a candidate is endorsed by the cabals. President Buhari was never endorsed by any Emir, Oba, or Onu, rather only innocent and ordinary Nigerian citizens endorsed him but he defeated his focal rival by a wide margin. This may also be replicated in the state in the next governorship polls.
I have tried as much as I could to avoid naming calling and referring some of my points to some administrations in the state. However, in the early 2000s, the state was on a good course. Kogi state was on a move. It was obvious to all and sundry that Kogi state was heading to a destination of prosperity. We were known in Nigeria. Government programmes did not end in computers but to a large extend were discernibly felt. There was apparent hope for the health of the state economy, then. But, suddenly, such hope dissipated as a vapour. Oh! Economical evapo-transpiration took place and landed us in the web of poverty. The contents of our viable hope leaked out through loopholes procreated by influential cabals. Thurggery set in and it was empowered into becoming an emerging industry. The state’s owned University then was rated as the best state university in the country and was among the first best 40 universities in Nigeria. Aside having internal leadership mêlée, industrial skirmish cum perceptible underdevelopment, Kogi State University is today ranked 96th among the first 100 universities in the country, having occupied the second to the last position for a protracted period. What engineered such economical deceleration could be traced to palpable lacuna in leadership.
For almost 24 years of its existence, it seems there is no blue print of what happens to the state in the next 30 to 40 years. There is no generational plan for the future prosperity of the state. It seems there is no state’s master plan drawn by the founding fathers of the state. Like a military barrack, Kogi state has been in a situation of administration comes, administration goes but Luggard House remains. With due respect to all our governors (both present and past), what we have had in the state so far, is political parties’ master plan. We have overtime been ruled by political parties’ ambitions and with the politics of bitterness in the land, whoever comes in, jettison the project of the other administration thereby taking us back to square one.
A trip to Lagos state will teach us a good lesson on expedience of having a state’s master plan that is not designed by a particular political party but by the people of the state regardless of their political inclinations. Whatever is going on in Lagos today was foreseen by their founding fathers several years ago and contained in the master plan for the development of the state. Their governors are just acting the scripts written by their fathers in compliance with the political party that gave them the mandate to rule. But in our own case, all we have had was annual budget for each fiscal year which will either go into debt settlement, settling contractors and payment of salaries not to talk of maintaining government functionaries. Until we see far into the future, we may not be able to drive home our desires. It’s high time the state assembles her fine brains to brainstorming on how to have a sound economical and developmental master plan for the state which will run the state in years to come.
Having seen leadership as the bane behind the marsh with which the state is presently faced, it is good to sound to those who are aspiring for the number one seat in the state to have a second thought whether or not they have the wherewithal to occupy the seat. It is not good enough to print posters and ventilate one’s political ambitions. More also, If the head of the present administration feels he has performed enough to contest for second time, let him exercise his franchise within the confine of his volition and allow the electorate to decide his fate at the polls but if it is the other way round, there is nothing wrong with him to relinquish the chance for an individual that will perform better than him which will also earn him a golden page in the state’s history book. The beauty of effective leadership lies in service delivery and not on the duration of the person in power. The incumbent governor should not be dragged into the race by mere sycophants who like the proverbial Lazarus depend on eating crumbs that fell from the governor’s table.
With unemployment on every street of the state and our graduates being pushed out of the state in search of white kola jobs, the need to have an actionable governor with workable ideas should not be smashed on the alter of regional agitation, religious chauvinism and egocentric tendency. Between Prince Abubakar Audu, James Ocholi, Jibrin Isah Echocho, Muhammed Ali, Captain Idris Wada, Alhaji Suleman Baba Ali, Yahaya Bello and Prince Sanni Halilu Shuaibu among other aspirants, what Kogites are after, is a governor that will serve them with love and through whose hands the state will fare well.
Observations about the political activities in Nigeria as part of the build up to this year’s general elections divulge the heightened nature of the political temperature in the country as thuggery, political rivalry and killing of people took the centre stage, a strange political culture that was in total deviation from the country’s electoral norms which should be characterized with peace and tranquility. This governorship poll in our state should not be seen as a do or die affairs. We should bear in mind that, in any contest, there will always emerge a winner and a vanquished. Political parties and their flag bearers should not set the state ablaze through their violence induced politicking. Hired Journalists and Feature Writers within and outside the state should see their writing gifting and journalistic platforms as avenues to promoting peace and unity as well as setting administrative agenda for whoever wins the elections and not to intensifying the already inflammable political fume in the state. Those in the Pen Profession will to a large extend decide the direction of the political activities, before, during and after this governorship election depending on the motive behind their contents and the language of their contents. Therefore, total adherence to the canon of journalism will help in giving direction to what the society should be fed in this Guber conest.
With the power of incumbent becoming a tacit and a voiceless factor in Nigerian politics, it is good to sound that, the ruling party in the state should not see this governorship election as a mean to retaining power by all means even though it has ruled the state for 12 years. Using state’s owned institutions against political opponents could best be seen as primordial politics. This may reduce the party’s popularity and discourage those who may believe in the party’s ideology especially that such move did not work for the immediate past President who used NTA against his opponent. In the same light, the opposition party who controls power at the centre should not also attempt to using federal mighty against other parties as such electoral formula could not deliver the desired result in Osun state during the last governorship election in Osun state. The electoral Umpire should maintain neutrality with impeccable mediation without favoring any political party. The processes should be transparent enough to convince the people that their votes truly count. It should be noted that, any election that is void of electoral malpractice will also be void of violence at the completion of the electoral processes. Electoral violence is a grandchild of glaring electoral transgression. Peaceful conduct of election is the one conducted within the gamut of electoral acts, as amended.
This is the time for all Kogites to decide who leads us. The time to affirm that the key to the Luggard House lies in the hands of the people is now. Kogi will certainly decide and it is my hope that we will decide well.
God bless Kogi state.

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