In the ever-changing landscape of the Kogi 2023 forthcoming gubernatorial election campaigns, recent developments have emerged as pivotal turning points, casting a foreboding shadow over the political prospects of the incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello’s political base; Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan’s triumph at the election petition tribunal, and Murtala Ajaka’s emergence backed by organic support have exposed vulnerabilities in the current APC led administration, suggesting the potential conclusion of the reign of the ruling party in the State.
Natasha’s Triumph at the Tribunal:
Natasha Akpoti’s resounding victory at the Tribunal has sent shockwaves through Kogi’s political terrain. Her decisive win stands as a watershed moment in the state’s political history, signifying her unwavering resolve and the profound discontentment with the Governor Bello’s administration.
In her legal battle against the incumbent, Natasha’s ability to secure such a resounding win is nothing short of extraordinary. It underscores her unwavering commitment to justice and the rule of law, virtues deeply resonating with Kogi people. Her triumph is a resounding declaration that Kogi citizens are not merely yearning for change, but are immediately and vociferously demanding it.
However, Natasha’s victory also spotlights a glaring shortcoming in Governor Bello’s administration. Despite being an incumbent governor with significant sway in the Central Senatorial District of the State where he hails from, and even possessing a sitting Senator from the area in his party at the time, His Excellency and his cabinet members from the district struggled in an election subsequently deemed flawed by the Tribunal. This inadequacy is palpable even in his Senatorial District, where he could not secure victory despite deploying political heavy-handedness. Incidents like the Local Government Area chairman caught tearing ballot papers as reported only serve to underscore the challenges confronting the incumbent government.
Additionally, owing to misguided political maneuvers stemming from the administration’s disconnect with the populace, the government of the day took the controversial step of tampering with the entrance road leading to Natasha’s hometown in Ihima . Many perceived this action as a desperate bid to hinder Natasha’s influence, further stoking resentment against the incumbent.
Muri’s Organic Support
Amidst the whirlwind of Kogi’s 2023 gubernatorial race, a remarkable phenomenon has materialized, both confounding and inspiring political pundits and citizens alike. It is the narrative of Muri Yakubu Ajaka of the SDP, a candidate who, despite lacking the endorsement of a major political party, has ignited a grassroots movement that is sweeping across the state.
Muri’s ascension to prominence attests to the potency of a bonafide connection with the grassroots. His endearing impact in the State particularly Kogi east as well as other regions, vividly portrayed in images and reports, showcases a candidate who comprehends the local issues that hold utmost significance for the good people of Kogi.
What is particularly striking is that Muri’s appeal transcends geographical confines, resonating with citizens from all walks of life. This wide-ranging support was recently bolstered by an endorsement from a UK-based group, underscoring the international reach of his grassroots movement.
The crux of this movement lies in its organic essence. Muri has eschewed the traditional machinery of established political parties, opting instead to engage directly with the people. His willingness to lend an ear, empathize, and address the concerns of the ordinary Kogi citizens has struck a chord.
The transformation unfolding in Kogi’s political landscape is profound, shifting away from the conventional paradigm of party-driven politics toward a new era where individuals like Muri, who genuinely comprehend the needs and aspirations of their constituents, take center stage. This metamorphosis is well-documented in reports from grassroots interactions, where Muri’s message of hope, accountability, and progress deeply resonates with the electorate.
The yearning for fresh leadership and a departure from the status quo is palpable. Kogi citizens are no longer content with the business-as-usual approach that has yielded meagre results. Instead, they are embracing Muri’s vision of a Kogi that caters for all its residents , offering opportunities to every citizen and partnering with the people to realize their aspirations.
As Muri’s organic support continues to gain momentum, it sends an unequivocal message to the political establishment: the people of Kogi are searching beyond traditional party affiliations. They are seeking leaders who are ingrained in their communities, comprehend their struggles, and are ready to bring about meaningful change to the people of Kogi State.
The Impending Danger Before the White Lion
Governor Bello may boast of being a political lion, but the recent developments in the Kogi 2023 election campaigns suggest that the reign of excesses may be drawing to a close. Natasha’s victory demonstrates a growing dissatisfaction with his leadership style, while Muri’s organic support indicates a desire for a new direction. The combined force of these two factors should serve as a stern warning for the APC led government and their supporters.
Furthermore, the administration’s disdain for the political figures of Kogi East Senatorial District and its disregard for the West Senatorial District have fanned the flames of bias and animosity, particularly along ethnic lines. This sentiment is anticipated to manifest itself on November 11th, 2023, election day. Regrettably, this negates the essence of the “New Direction” slogan that was espoused during the early days of the administration in 2016.
One would have expected “New Direction” to symbolize a political reorientation and the harmonization of Kogi’s political culture as a state to lay a popularly accepted foundation across the three senatorial districts and down to the nine federal constituencies to enable an organized Kogi Agenda for National pursuits amongst the committee of states which will translate to a better living condition for her citizenry; Painfully, it appears the administration has leaned towards the antiquated path of avarice, which has historically hindered the state’s progress and as such poses a big threat to the ruling party retaining the highest seat in the State.
These factors, coupled with Natasha’s triumph and Muri’s grassroots support, serve as a stark cautionary signal to Governor Bello that his political reign may be approaching its twilight. The era of excesses and divisive politics could indeed be drawing to a close in Kogi state.
In conclusion, the evolving political landscape of Kogi in the run-up to the 2023 Guber Poll paints a compelling narrative. Natasha Akpoti’s resounding victory at the Tribunal and Muri Yakubu Ajaka’s remarkable grassroots movement symbolize a yearning for change and a break from the traditional political mold. These developments underscore a growing dissatisfaction with the status quo and a demand for fresh leadership that truly understands and addresses the needs of the people.
Governor Bello’s administration, while initially promising a “New Direction,” has faced significant challenges and criticisms, including allegations of electoral misconduct and divisive politics. The cracks in Bello’s political armor, revealed by these recent events, suggest that his tenure may be approaching its twilight.
As the electorate seeks leaders deeply connected to their communities and genuinely responsive to their concerns, the era of old-fashioned politics and excesses could be drawing to a close in Kogi state. It is a pivotal moment, where the voices of the people, represented by Natasha and Muri, are reshaping the political landscape. The outcome of the upcoming election will ultimately determine whether this transformation takes root, setting Kogi on a new trajectory toward progress, unity, and accountable governance.
– Abdulmalik Hadi Adinoyi.