Kogi Central Senate Rerun: Now That APC Can’t Contest

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By John Omeiza

The Kogi Central Senatorial rerun election holding this Saturday, February 20, 2016 is one election most of us are not happy about. We are not happy because the victory our great party, All Progressives Congress, APC, got from the 2015 general election for Kogi Central Senate seat was annulled by the court and a rerun ordered.

The development came to us as a shock, especially for the fact that the Kogi Central Senatorial election in itself was very free, fair and transparent devoid of any kind of violence as we used to witness in the past. We never thought there was any reason that could warrant the nullification of the hard-won victory of our great leader, Senator Mohammed Salami Ohiare.

We wouldn’t have been so worried if the APC was not barred from taking part in the ordered rerun because we know that even if the election was to be conducted 1000 times APC would certainly thrash the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The fact is that Ebira people have fallen in love with APC because they have strong faith in the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Now that APC is disqualified from participating in the rerun, do we allow the candidate of the PDP, the party that took us to the tribunal and made us lose the Kogi Central seat have a field day in the coming election? Of course, no right thinking APC member would answer this poser in the affirmative. Who then do we support among the candidates allowed to participate?

For me, the most qualified candidate among those cleared by INEC that deserves the total support of all APC members, supporters, loyalists and the entire people of Kogi Central is no other person than SENATOR NURUDEEN ABATEMI-USMAN. Abatemi-Usman is a strong member of the APC family. He joined the APC few weeks to last year governorship primaries of the party, yet he came third in a keen contest that involved 28 aspirants – an indication that he is not just a force to reckon with in the politics of Kogi Central but the entire Kogi State. It is God’s design that his PPA’s ticket with which he contested the cancelled election before defecting to APC is still very much valid in the face of the law. Though, some who are threatened by his participation because of his weight have tried to use that against him, but INEC has insisted that all those who took part in the nullified election are eligible to participate except APC.

With SENATOR NURUDEEN ABATEMI-USMAN in the race on the platform of PPA, I want to believe that all is not lost for our great party APC. Abatemi-Usman has APC blood in him. For him to have been able to fully establish himself with a strong support base within a short period in the APC, is enough to tell us that he is a young man that understand the game of politics perfectly well. From all indications, it is obvious that he is having a good relationship with our able and dynamic Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. We want people who will work assiduously to support our governor and complement his works at the federal legislature as our representatives so that together we can rebuild our dear Kogi State.

Abatemi-Usman was in the seventh Senate and he proved his worth as the youngest Senator. Yes, he may have his shortcomings as a human being, but in the average his performance was good enough to deserve another term. It is will do us a lot of good to give him another opportunity as he will be going there now as a ranking Senator. We must know that experience counts a lot in understanding the workings of the legislature. Abatemi-Usman has got the experience and connections to influence and attract more dividends of democracy to Ebiraland.

Therefore, I urge us all in the APC brotherhood and Ebira people as a whole to come out en masse on Saturday to vote for the man that has been tested and can be trusted. For me, a vote for Abatemi-Usman’s PPA is a vote for APC. APC may not have a candidate in the Kogi Central senatorial rerun according to INEC’s guideline, but we have a candidate in Abatemi-Usman on the platform of PPA.

– John Omeiza writes from Lokoja, Kogi State

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