by Ahmed Rufai Isah
A parasite is as an organism which feeds off the flesh of its host. This is how parasites work; they attach themselves to a host and proceed to suck the life out of the unfortunate entity. No matter what this organism who is unwillingly entertaining this parasite eats or possesses or does, it never shows as the parasite is extremely adept at allocating all goodness to itself without its host’s permission.
Farmers may testify to this, as a cow, for instance, infected with parasites looks thin and unhealthy irrespective of what it eats. There is no better way to describe the relationship between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Kogi state, than to term it a parasitic one, and I am sure that this is one situation that all Nigerians can relate to, irrespective of what state they are from.
I remember that as a teenager, I always looked forward to visiting my home state and meeting with family. Back then, there was always something different to look forward to – a newly paved road, pipe-borne water, a new school, the list was endless; I’m not so enthusiastic anymore as this state has been visited by a plague of inefficient leaders for the past 12 years. I recall having a discussion with my father (may Allah grant him Jannah) in 2003 about the electioneering process. I had seen a lot of development occur between 1999 and that period and I wondered why the governor at the time, Prince Abubakar Audu, had not been re-elected. The response he gave me then, reminds me now of a talk on “vested interests” delivered by the former CBN governor (and now Emir of Kano), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at TEDx. My father was not exactly a politician, but he was a community mobiliser whom people listened to, and I asked him after he was done speaking, if he was certain that the decision made by these vested interests would not have terrible consequences on the state. The past twelve years have done nothing but confirm my fears.
The first person these interests installed was the PDP’s Ibrahim Idris – a furniture-maker with no prior experience in governance who had been called upon by these forces to manage the affairs of the state. Unprepared, he took over the reins of leadership and his 8 years in office did nothing to better equip him for the job. The achievements recorded during Audu’s tenure began to decay, but even then, the people had seen nothing yet. In 2011, he, in turn, installed Captain Idris Wada, someone who was equally unready to pilot the affairs of the state.
During these 12 years, Kogi went from having students on a foreign exchange programme to cancelling the payment of WAEC fees. During this period, infrastructure put in place by Audu’s ANPP government decayed, and virtually nothing was done to build upon his achievements. We went from having a leader who used his vast network to attract investments and create jobs, to a new set of leaders who had no idea what job creation entailed, and the people suffered as a result. Now, most of our youths are okada riders and fuel attendants, irrespective of what level of education they have attained.
The PDP has proven that they do not have a plan for the state. They have enthroned leader after leader without the drive or zeal to serve and many even consider Wada’s return as the party’s candidate as an insult to the people. This is a man who not only seems to have no clue about how to manage the state’s resources, but has been found wanting on several occasions. One of such occasions was when his convoy hit and killed a professor; this, to many, showed that not only was he reckless with administration, he had no regard for the people too.
Twelve years of PDP in Kogi State have brought nothing other than thuggery, unemployment, a breakdown in security and law enforcement, and a chronic mismanagement of funds – for this is the only likely reason for the state being unable to pay salaries and for the confusing decision to cancel the payment of WAEC fees for secondary school students. In fact, the latter proves, beyond any doubt, that the PDP and its set of leaders are not concerned about the future of the next generation of Kogites. While the rest of the country struggle to improve education and ensure that more Nigerians excel academically, Kogi state decides to stop funding WAEC exams.
Under the PDP’s watch, human capital has been grossly underdeveloped, infrastructure is rapidly decaying and no meaningful policies have been enacted to improve the situation of the state. Elections are just around the corner and one can only hope that people make the right choice and wake Kogi from this coma induced by bad leadership.
The writer, Ahmed Rufai Isah is on twitter @Sir_Ruffy.