The news reports that His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello gave the go-ahead to 10 of officials of his administration to pick nomination forms and expression of interest to contest the primaries of his party is really a political masterstroke. This is because prior to this time, there have been insinuations of a chosen successor and this really made the political waters of the state quite murky.
Irrespective of the cry of marginalization by the only Senatorial District yet to occupy the Governorship seat and the cry for equity and fairness, the right of any Kogite to aspire for the tenured landlordship of Lugard House is unalienable. So, throwing the race open is not a sacrilege.
The Governor’s action has taken away acrimony from the ruling party in the State (APC) even if temporarily; which is crucial as the party needs all the unity it can muster going into the general election to achieve victory.
However, there is the morality question of equity and fairness.
Is it just to ignore the agitation of Kogi West to have the first right of choice, this time considering the 16 years occupation of the seat by Kogi East and 8 years by Kogi Central at the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello?
The “Ebigo” doctrine was propagated by principal actors in the New Direction Government especially in the period leading to the 2019 re-election bid of the “White Lion” It was an Idea that acknowledged the heterogeneous demography of the state and the need to balance the inequality in the state’s political equation. The Apostles of “Ebigo” are now the frontliners in the Governorship race and it will be interesting hear the argument that will justify their present quest.
Amusingly, the joy expressed by some aspirants whose name was in the ‘cleared list’ to contest will make anyone think that they have been given the party’s (APC) unopposed.
The bottom line is that, Kogites have been scammed with mantras and slogans pushed into the public space by persons with no moral intent to do what is just and equitable.
Until after the submission of forms closes, it will be hipremature to question how these government functionaries raised the funds for their gubernatorial quest.
The “White Lion” is in a quagmire and his action only pushed forward a crisis of great proportion in the APC.
How the Governor will be able to navigate the mine-infested political labyrinth that the choice of the party’s candidate is will determine the fortunes of the party in the state. Preventing the implosion that the contrasting interests of his lieutenants/aspirants will brew is another ball game.
The times ahead will indeed be interesting.
– Abdulhamid Tijani writes from Lokoja.