A socio-political group, The Emerging Leaders Forum, Kogi East has challenged the position of Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC) on February 16 presidential poll.
In a press statement signed by the convener, Dr. Usman Ogbo, the Emerging Leaders Forum, Kogi East argued that President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Yahaya Bello are not the cause of the myriad of problems facing the Igala-Bassa nation.
The group called on the people of Kogi East to disregard in its entirety the purported misleading, divisive, politically subjective and unfortunate press statement credited to the Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC).
Full Press Statement:
President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) and Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) Are Not The Problem of Kogi East; But The Misdeed of Our Past Leaders and Elders.
The attention of the Emerging Leaders Forum, Kogi East has been drawn to a purported Press Statement, credited to the Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC) published by the online news medium Kogi Reports on February 13, 2019 to the effect that the Igala and Bassa people were urged not to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the Saturday February 16, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections to prevent the perceived re election of Governor Yahaya Bello.
As a group we are worried and dismayed over the misleading and divisive content of the said Press Statement at this critical moment of our national polity by a group that should have known better, but for their partisan and self serving interest.
There is no doubt that the self appointed Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC) is an extended arm of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) judging from their membership and their subjective judgment of late.
Since this group of elders have taken it upon themselves to speak for the Igala/Bassa people most especially on who to vote or not to vote for and why ahead of the Saturday February 16, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly election, we are compelled to ask the following pertinent questions so that the people of Kogi East may judge their intention:
- Are these not the same elders who were in various leadership positions at the Federal and State levels but failed to empower our people and develop our land? Rather, they were busy serving themselves and members of their immediate families before the change of political equation in Kogi State and in Nigeria in 2015.
- In spite of the fact that Kogi East can boast of producing a one-time National Chairman of the former ruling party (PDP), why was the Umomi-Idah road which leads to the traditional headquarters of Igala Kingdom abandoned as a death trap all through that period?
- Where were our Kogi East Elders when the Ibaji oil well was freely taken from the people for Anambra State? This development has led to needless friction and conflict between our people and their neighbouring communities?
- What has the Kogi East Elders done about the perpetual darkness that has enveloped Igala and Bassa Land? This is in spite of the nearby Geregu Plant which supplies power to the FCT Abuja.
- Is it not the action and inaction of these Elders that are responsible for political thuggery leading to premature and untimely death of our youths?
- Where were the Kogi East Elders while the Kogi East Senatorial seat has been the subject of endless litigations to the extent that from 2015 till date Kogi East has so far produced four (4) Senators? Instead of mediating, the so called elders have obviously taken side.
- Have these elders not used their privileged position while serving at the top echelon in the PDP and in the government of PDP diverted board appointments meant for the Igala and Bassa people for immediate family? This is to the extent of appointing wife and son into the Boards of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) at the same time even when the people were crying of exclusion.
- Why did the Kogi East Elders remain silent and could not expose the Senator that put Kogi East in total darkness as a result of fraudulent diversion of funds meant for the power project located at Abadigba between Anyigba and Egume along Ankpa road?
- Where was the voice of our self appointed Kogi East Elders when under their nose the dredging project that was suppose to bring ports to Idah and Lokoja was diverted? These ports would have boosted economic activities of our people and created jobs for our youths.
- Where were these elders when the Bagana-Abaji Bridge that was suppose to connect Kogi East directly with the FCT was diverted for the Oweto Bridge in Benue State?
We can go on and on with endless questions!!!
THE PARADIGM SHIFT OF POWER EQUATION IN KOGI STATE
God on his throne watching the misdeeds of these past leaders for the benefit of their immediate families, had in 2015 decided in his wisdom to change the political power equation in Nigeria and particularly in Kogi State from the following two notable blocks;Kogi East to Kogi Central; and the older generations to the younger generations.
The Kogi East under the current crop of leaders in Kogi State has witnessed giants development stride most especially in those areas that were hitherto wickedly abandoned by the past leaders. Few examples will suffice below;
The Ankpa township road that was abandoned and left as death trap over the years has been rehabilitated for the benefit of all;
The abandoned Umomi Idah road is undergoing reconstruction with work at an advanced stage;
The Ibana-Okpo-Ogugu-Ette abandoned road is also undergoing reconstruction and at an advanced stage;
Youths are no longer used as political thugs as was the practice in the past.
Under the current leadership in the state, youths are now involved in governance and decision making as Commissioners, Local Government Administrators, Special Advisers, and Senior Special Assistant among others.
Today, the children of Mr. Nobody relates in equal terms with the so called children of Mr. Somebody.Security situation has greatly improved; and judging from the recent Town hall meeting by the Emerging Leaders Forum, Kogi East, the people are beginning to trust the government unlike in the not too distant past.
OUR POSITION ON THE SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2019 PRESIDENTIAL AND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
We want to first and foremost urge the people of Kogi East to disregard in its entirety the purported misleading, divisive, politically subjective and unfortunate press statement credited to the Kogi East Elders Council (KEEC).
It negates the principles of good governance and development which we stand for, most especially, as it also does not represent the wishes and aspirations of our people for prosperity and development of our land.
Such divisive and carefree statements in the past are partly responsible for the disadvantaged position that the Igala and Bassa people were reduced to by the action and inaction of some of our partisan elders.
We wish to therefore call on the eligible electorates to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise in such a way that will keep Kogi East in the mainstream of the politics and government.
Let no failed politicians risk our destinies by taking us to the path of opposition that may compound the situation we are already surmounting.
This substantiates our position that, President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) and Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) are not the problem of Kogi East but those elders that are preaching divisive agenda and who have failed us in the past. They are at it again to use us in regaining their lost political position.
Never again shall we return to EGYPT. Enough is enough!!!
Let us all come out and vote for continuity.
God bless you all.
Dr. Usman Ogbo
The Emerging Leaders Forum, Kogi East.