The seven point agenda of Prince Shaibu Abubakar Audu is a well conceived and articulated policy document that captures the essence of the hopes and expectations the Kogi people shared as they waited for the enthronements of democracy in 1999 which today has seemingly been dashed because of the present realities in the state.
The seven point agenda of this capable leader is mirrored in the trajectories of programmes he has put together as the road map for the transformation of the state when by the grace of God he is elected into office as the governor of Kogi state.
The main purpose and objectives of this agenda for the transformation of the state is about reclaiming the state from those tendencies that have militated against the development of the state for which our forebears who by now would have been so dissappointed.
The agenda was first of all put together to pay homage to those who came before us and fought for the creation of the state some of who have long left us to the world beyond disappointed and upon whose labor our generation should build upon; our forebears of ages past who bequeathed before us a rich history of honour and dignity, who bound together as one indivisible Kogi Confederacy, and fought wars and battle to liberate us from external forces that sought to subjugate us. They taught us that only in fighting together can we truly win.
Shuaibu Abubakar Audu was certain that this ancestors of ours who we know and have learnt about in our history books and from the oral tradition of our griot, are similarly assembled in the great beyond as a cloud of witnesses, cheering us on as we embark on this journey set before us. This is why he wants to be the governor of the state at this time with his transformational agenda which is put before us today.
Shuiab Abubakar Audu, by his coming forward to seek to be elected as the governor of the state, wants to be the instruments through which this divine mandate would be given to do right by his people and honour that oath with God helping him. His agenda for the state would mark the beginning of a new phase in our history and also signals the end of an era or more appropriately the end of an error, without a doubt.
Kogi state, make no mistake about it, has been through a horrible period in the wilderness because of what it has experience in the past years since the return of democracy. Our reputation as a people has been sullied and we have become the butts of jokes due to the crass ineptitude, loquacious ignorance, and ravenous corruption masquerading as governance over the years. Shuaib Abubakar Audu therefore seeks if voted into office as governor to live up to the responsibilities of leadership by thoroughly reviewing documents, to widely disseminate the present positions of things so that all and sundry can know what has become of our Commonwealth. He would embark on this through an independent verifiable findings that would indicate this through the open governance concepts.
In his governance agenda, his administration would ensure that within 100 days of his being sworn in as Governor, the people will know the true positions of things in keeping with his ethos of transparency and accountability in governance. He would not be interested in trial by the media, witch hunting or playing to the gallery. He would seek out the truth and lay it before the people as a starting point.
Shuaib Abubakar Audu has said it time and again that his vying for the office of the governor of Kogi state is not be about self and can never be a revenge mission but rather a healing balm on a painful wound. However, as the events of the last 20years go into the history books, we owe it a duty to ourselves and the generation coming after us to work together to ensure that never again shall we be deceived into making the grievous mistake that has set us back so steeply on the development curve. Certainly we must not all belong to the same political party nor share the same ideological beliefs, but the reins of leadership in Kogi state must never again be allowed to fall into the hands of those who do not understand what governance and development is all about.
Never again should we give up free and qualitative education for herculean taxes and fees levied on our children; never again should we give up free health care and functional hospitals for a total neglect of the health sector; never should we give up integrated infrastructural developments for bridges that leads us nowhere; never again should we give up a burgeoning tourism industry that our state is known as it’s destination for decrepit infrastructures now occupied by reptiles; never again give up the peace and unity of the state for increased crime rates and general insecurity; never again give up transparent and accountable governance with the requisite checks and balances of an independent judiciary and legislative arms of government, for a draconian one man shows; never again allow our reputation as honourable and knowledgeable people to be known now as apostates of anything goes. Never again should we sacrifice prompt payments of salaries for indulgences in pursuance of projects of minimal benefits to the people.
Shuaib Abubakar Audu’s governance agenda therefore, is to reclaim our land for the people and restore its values and this is not a slogan for his campaigns but a Clarion call on all of our people to embark on this journey with him. When we together reclaim our land with his victory at the polls as governor of the state, it would mark the cusp of charting the course of sustainable development out of the quagmire we find ourselves today.
In this task we are faced with a lot of threats and challenges, yet blessed with an immense amount of strengths and possibilities, we shall outlast them. His vision for our state is that it would be a place where people can strive and live their lives in dignity. A place where it’s workers do not work and Labour in vain. A place where our young ones do not roam the streets looking for jobs that are not there. A place where the people are not so hungry they resort to pilfering for food to survive. A place where the circle of generational poverty can be broken, and in which our elderly can reap the fruits of their labour over their children. A place where the people are safe, healthy, and prosperous.
The governance agenda of Shuaib Abubakar Audu’s administration if elected into office is compelled to focus on seven areas through which he would deliver his promises to the people.
The seven pillars of his administration when voted into office will be, social investments, knowledge economy, Infrastructure, industrial development, agriculture, Job creation and economy, security, health care, youth and women empowerment, and people with disability.
Our greatest resource remain our people. As it is known all over the world that human beings are the measures of all things, and only a healthy and enlightened people can drive the sustainable development we want to see in the state. The Shuaib Abubakar Audu’s administration would be committed to instituting social safety nets that would bring succour to the most vulnerable segments of the Kogi society.
One example of such safety nets is the social security scheme for the elderly which he plans to institute within 3months of his coming to office. This is because of his ideological position that no individual in society must be left behind, but everyone should be supported to live out their dreams to their full potential in their youth, and have a dignified retirement in their old age-this is the fundamental responsibility of any government in this age.
Likewise, delivering qualitative healthcare is a priority for his administration if voted into office as governor of Kogi state as he would ensure our hospitals are once again well equipped and functional to attend to the needs of the masses.
Kogi people are known as enlightened and knowledgeable. Our people loves, seeks, and celebrate knowledge. We have many of our citizens who are leading lights in every field of human endeavours as well as those who are frontiers in the academic and scholarstic practice all over the world. It is therefore a logical choice for him if elected, to turn to knowledge as the primary product of which we can trade successfully.
To survive in today’s global economy as a people, we should be committed to using our brilliant minds to promote sustainable development. His administration when elected will pay attention to fields such as teaching, creative arts, strengthening tertiary institutions and educational entrepreneurships.
Infrastructure and Industrial Development.
The advancements of the Kogi state economy is pivotal to wealth and job creation for the citizens of the state. This is crucial and relevant to the poverty reduction and revenue advancements mission of his administration when elected. In order to further advance an economic and industrial revolution in Kogi state and in furtherance of his commitments to jobs and wealth creation capacity of the state, Shuaib Abubakar Audu will revisit the commercial and technical viability of all abandoned projects scattered across the state and schemes with a view to reactivating them. These includes our vast networks of roads, our many community based projects and flagships tourism assets in the state. He shall carefully take on new Infrastructural projects that are strategic in the advancing economic growth and industrial developments in the state.
Agriculture and Rural Development
In order to guarantee sustained operation of commerce and enterprises within the state, his administration when elected into office is going to create an enabling environment for it to flourish. An integrated networks of security infrastructure would be put in place to ensure the state is once again the safe and secure Haven for local and foreign investments. This would ensure inflows of foreign and local investments into the state. Kogi state is essentially an agrarian society with soil properties conducive for growing a wide variety of crops, in order to achieve sustainable food security, create employments opportunities and foster agro allied industrial developments for poverty alleviation and wealth creation, the approach must change from the current focus on farming and agriculture as a government focussed social services to a commercial and private sector driven approach which is now called Agri-business.
He when elected would adopt a sustainable and commercial value chain approach which will lead to transformational agribusiness development that will enhance food and personal security, create employments opportunities, empower women and youth, reduce poverty and create wealth through viable agro allied industrial developments.
This are some of the agenda of Shuaibu Abubakar Audu that would lead to the total transformation of our state. We are on the threshold of history when he is supported and voted into office because he is our sure foot forward.
– Jamila Musa wrote from Abuja.