Kogi Guber: In Free, Fair Contest, Yahaya Bello Won’t Score 25% in Any Local Govt – Musa Wada

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Engineer Musa Wada is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Kogi State. In this interview, Wada bared his mind on how he hopes the election would take shape in his favour, among other issues. Excerpts

Your emergence as the PDP candidate came as a surprise to many. What happened behind the scene?

Well there wasn’t really any magic, let’s just say we worked hard. Many people underrated us, yes but that was positive. That gave us the latitude to concentrate on delegates and market our manifesto and programmes to them. For instance, I can tell you that I personally know the majority of the nearly 3000 delegates, particularly the statutory delegates.

Other aspirants had their strategies, mine was to simply locate the delegates and engage them, I guess that worked.

What are your programmess for the state, should you emerged as the governor?

We shall immediately declare a state of emergency in all sectors.

There’s nothing that is functional in Kogi State right now. All basic infrastructures have shut down. Enter Lokoja today, there is hardly any motorable road.

I hear that they are rushing to do window dressing on the high traffic Ganaja Road but where have they been in four years?

Just like they rushed to pay three months salary after owing for over 40 months, who do they think they are deceiving?

You are from the same district with the running mate to the APC candidate, what are the mechanism you intend to use to avoid split vote in the senatorial district?

You see, all we ask for is a free, fair and credible contest. If that happens, I don’t see the incumbent government of Yahaya Bello scoring 25 per cent in any LGA in the state, not just the Eastern Senatorial District. The truth is that the people are just plain tired of the present government.

The hunger, poverty, violence and all the failings of the government of my opponent is evenly spread across the state. There are people who are owed salaries running into over three years and they are abound in all the senatorial district. I guess they are desperately trying to ignite ethnic sentiments now, but I think it’s too late in the day.

They didn’t spare any tribe from the suffering and miseries they visited on the state. The resolve to do away with them is unanimous in East, Central and West.

Your party is enmeshed in crises over the outcome of the primary election. Are you not worried that these may rub off on you?

The truth is that our so-called crisis is being over sensationalise by certain elements afraid of our unity. Yes, one aspirant out of the 13 of us that contested is displeased with the outcome. But as you know, PDP remains a family. There is no room for intractable rancour. We are discussing and very soon we shall reach an understanding. I can assure you that we are going into this contest as one family.

Your party is loosing membership to the ruling APC particularly in the western senatorial district, is that not a problem?

I think there’s a lot of propaganda and misinformation going on by the other side. Nobody, I repeat, nobody of significance in our party has defected in the west or anywhere for that matter. As a matter of fact, there was a stakeholders’ meeting of the zone in Lokoja just yesterday and every single stakeholder endorsed the Musa Wada/ Sam Aro ticket.

The information of mass defection is therefore blatantly false. One of the aspirants and a son to a former governor is in court to challenge your emergence, what are you doing to avoid this distraction? I have already told you that we are discussing. Insha Allah, we shall resolve faster than you expect.

The coming election has been projected in some quarters to be laced with violence, how prepared are you?

That is a matter of extreme concern to us. Even the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in our state expressed similar fears last week.

But you see nobody talking of violence will implicate the PDP. Only one side is preparing for violence and that is the person we shall remove by the power of the electorate and the grace of almighty Allah on November 16.

How are you so sure of the person?

Everybody knows that some politicians have been engaged in arms build up and the recruitment of thugs and mercenaries. We have reports that he has gone as far as Niger Delta, Nasarawa State, Niger State and many other places to recruit violent persons to cause mayhem during the election.

We are shocked that the security agencies are silent while all these are going on. They seem to be having a field day in their preparation for violence. Three weeks ago when we held our primary election, despite the overwhelming presence of police and DSS, unknown gunmen came to attack the venue with the intention of aborting it. We know who sent the gunmen. We believe the security agencies also know, but as you can see, nothing had been done since then to fish out the gunmen.

What is their business with your primary, what could be the motive?

The motive was to ensure that no candidate emerges for PDP before the expiration of the window for primaries in INEC timetable, but they failed spectacularly. Now they have procured a Vice Chairman of a ward from the village of Bello’s Chief of Staff and running mate to go to court.

They have hired a lawyer and Bello and his running mate are bragging that they would rather spend N3billion in court to void our primaries than to face us at the polls.

You can see that the violence is driven purely by desperation on the part of the incumbent. They had four years to impress the people and govern well but they chose to be oppressive and repressive.

Now is the time to give account and they think thugs and guns can change the situation. We are not going to prepare for violence. Our strength lies with the Kogi people that have been dehumanised and humiliated in the last four years.

They will resist any weapon fashioned against their right to vote out a failed government.

There are calls for the removal of the REC, do you also subscribe to that?

You see there are concerns about the neutrality of INEC, but we are a law-abiding party. We don’t have a choice but to pray and hope that INEC will discharge its constitutional duty and mandate without fear or favour. Nobody else can conduct the election except INEC, so we must reinforce our confidence in its non partisanship.

What is your call to electorates?

Kogi voters must come out enmasse to ensure that they vote, and they must protect their votes legally. They must not allow allow anybody to intimidate them, no matter who or how highly placed. Where the people are resolved and determined, nobody can steal their mandate.

Credit: New Telegraph

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