Kogi Gov’ship: The Choice of Candidates and Dilemma of The People

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That various candidates of different political parties for the November 16, 2019 polls have emerged and campaigns for who heads the Lugard House in the next four years have started in earnest, is no longer news. Therefore, it is needless to say that Governor Yahaya Bello of APC and Engr. Musa Wada of PDP are the two main contenders, while other candidates relevantly remains as pretenders.

Very quickly, Kogi State manifests the general characteristics of Nigeria in terms of complexity of history, the unity questions and the reality of differences; the struggles for political control and the contradictions of power structure. All of this concern endlessly raised political dusts in our collective history, and largely explains why politics is highly ethnicized in every part of the country.

For instance, the coming into being of Kogi state, just like the coming into existence of Nigeria, was not based on a consensual decision of the people, but was forcefully imposed by certain oligarchic forces of either the colonial or military powers. Thus, the crisis of unity, power and political dominance in Kogi state has its roots in the very faulty foundations of Nigeria laid by the colonialists and subsequently reinforced by the military and civilian regimes alike.

These compressed layers of problems usually rear its ugly heads at every political dispensation in the state and of course, they are already playing out in the forthcoming elections. Kogites are mostly lining up behind their candidates along ethnic lines or solidarity of interests. Supports for the election of a candidate are being canvassed for based on primordial factors such as: where and which part of the state did the candidate come from? Is he an Igala, Okun, Ebira or which tribes did he represent? It is rare to base support on what the track records of a candidate are.

Armed with this ever present sophisticated division, politicians take advantage of playing ethnic-card-politics in the state. Regardless of a performance or track records of a candidate, supporters are queuing up based on ethnic identity or solidarity. It is not uncommon to use various community fora, including places of worship to promote ethnic politics in Nigeria, which cuts across party lines.

As people are faced with this dilemma of ethnic identity and the right choice to make in the coming election, let us not forget the prevailing socio-economic and infrastructural decay of the state. Poverty has no respect for identity, language, religion or culture. Bad roads adversely affects the economy of the people regardless of where he/she comes from, regardless of language one speaks or religion one belongs to.

Together in unity, we can make Kogi state of our best dreams. Come November 16, 2019, let’s shun violence. Vote wisely!!

– Anyebe Simeon

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