Destiny of Kogi in Your Hands: An Open Letter to PDP Delegates

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Dear Party Faithful,

We stand at a very critical point in the history of our state and people. Since the birth of the 4th Republic in May 29th, 1999, our people have never collectively clamoured for CHANGE as the gloomy reality of today has forced them to openly do now.

There is no doubt that the great but long suffering people of Kogi State fervently yearn for a fundamental CHANGE and a total discontinuation with the “New Direction” roguery, brazen misappropriation and callous plundering of their common patrimony such as they have painfully witnessed for almost eight cruel years of Gov Bello -APC lead regime.

It is for this reason that the task before all of you who are the delegates that will elect the Party’s gubernatorial flag bearer in today’s PDP Governorship primary is onerous. Make no mistake about it! This rare privilege that only democracy can provide obligates you with the great responsibility of ensuring that the choice that the majority of you will make will salvage our land from the spectre of underdevelopment, gloomy poverty, interethnic acrimony and disunity.

As some of you may be aware, the signals are pointing to the fact that our state economy is approaching a serious crisis due to the obvious ineptitude of the APC. When the economic ship of our state eventually hits the rocks, the effect on our local economy will be grave, if not calamitous. This is more so because of the rascally and reckless manner the APC and Bello’s government have mismanaged the kogi State commonwealth in the last 4 years.

As records attest, throughout Capt Idris Wada’s 4 years tenure, the total revenue that accrued to Kogi State was 247billion Naira. At the end of his tenure in 2016, Wada had left us with the Kogi state diagonist centre- Kogi Hotel, Ultra Modern Park, the industrial incubation centre; Lokoja confluence stadium etc. But most importantly, Capt Idris Wada did not burden Kogi people with any indebtedness.

All said, the very worrisome aspect of the APC and Governor Godswill Bello’s tenure is that despite the fact that his regime got some  billions of Naira on behalf of the people of Kogi, the APC-led government of Bello is leaving a calamitous debt burden of some 500 billion Naira hanging on the necks of present and future Kogi citizens.

Sadly, very sadly, the 4  years of Governor Yahaya Bello and APC administration has been a mournful litany of uncommon woes. Despite the fact that hundreds of billions of Naira enter our state treasury annually from the Federation Account, there is heart rending poverty and hunger in our land.

For more than 3 years of APC,  people of Kogi state have witnessed the repression of free speech, the introduction of politically motivated problems. we have hopelessly and powerlessly watched the destructive gangsterisation of our youths; we have seen uncommon and unwholesome ethnic discrimination; crass nepotism; unbridled clannishness; noxious profligacy; toxic insularity; scornful disregard for the yearnings and feelings of the people; the arrogant display of brute power and the unacceptable disrespect of the elders and stakeholders of our state.

Speaking as a Lokoja indigene, I and my ethnic folks have watched and groaned over Governor Bello’s wicked exclusion of the Lokoja people from the leadership of government of our state.

Distinguished delegates of PDP. I am cocksure you have been sufficiently apprised of the precariousness and near malignancy of our situation; I also want to persuade myself that you know full well that we must summon the courage to do a drastic salvific operation or else continue to surrender our commonwealth to be mercilessly gang raped and plundered by one man and his parasitic APC cohort of plundering freeloaders.

The drastic salvific operation we must do requires a person with the requisite experience, depth of knowledge and dexterous skills to instil fiscal discipline and is known to have the character of managing communal and or government resources under his control prudently.

Knowing that our people will expect you to select a person that has the competence and sagacity to chart a new course for our socio-economic wellbeing and that will salvage our state from the vast debt burden incurred by the wastefulness of Governor Bello’s misrule, it is your onerous duty that you elect from your list of governorship contestants the one person possessing the requisite credentials  listed above.

Furthermore, it is clearly evident that Kogi State Civil Service system is suffering from very serious structural dysfunctions engendered solely by the kind of primitive provincialism we have witnessed under Governor Bello.

Our people from all the ethnic groups in the state naturally look up to you to elect a candidate that is knowledgeable of the system, has the temperament of character, the command of a quiet but steely will and the broad -mindedness and sensibilities to effect the mandatory changes necessary to correct the anomalies and restore harmony in the Civil Service without further exacerbating or aggravating the strained ethnic ties in our state.

It goes without saying that no nation or group of people can achieve any meaningful success without unity. Unity is the galvanizing force that propels humans towards a common goal.

In this regard, Kogi people will expect you to come up with a governorship candidate who will cover us within one Umbrella Of Unity and whose popularity and appeal cuts across the ethnic spectra of Kogi State; a person that will rein in the atavistic and destructive inter and intra-ethnic rivalry and divisism which Governor Bello and his minions insensitively stoked throughout his tenure.

The person that the majority of you will collectively elect as our gubernatorial flagbearer in the 2019 governorship elections must be a bridge – builder, a trustworthy personality, and a man of capacity and character who has a track record as a loyal and committed team player.

My dear comrades, with the downward slide in global oil prices and the concomitant drop in our national revenue, it is clear that our state that has thoughtlessly squandered some 3 Trillion Naira under the watch of APC will require some refreshingly brilliant and innovative ideas to sustain our economy and create the much needed quality jobs for our teeming youths and graduates.

The vast majority of Kogi people DO NOT want a continuity of the wastefulness, roguery, insecurity, poverty, underdevelopment and abridgement of our democratic space such as we have witnessed under the APC administration. Our people want a significant CHANGE in the character of governance. This soulful yearnings of our people is consistent with the ideals of a great party.

It is my fervent hope that the outcome of your collective decision as to who will fly the Party’s flag in the 2019 governorship elections wll be the person with the competence, character, capability and humility to change our collective destiny for the better; a man that will cover us under the Umbrella Of Unity, brotherhood and prosperity of our state.

My dear delegates, the one person who has these qualities and is capable of leading our state in a new and right direction and to greater heights is Capt Idris Wada. I have known him well enough to attest to his competence, capacity, compassion, humility and acute sense of vision.

PDP delegates, the destiny of Kogi state is in your hands!

– Abbas Yahaya writes from Lokoja.

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