Mr Sam Uhuotu is the newly elected Chairman of the Kogi State Chapter of the PDP. In this interview Uhuotu expressed confidence the party would win the forthcoming governorship election.
The timing of our coming is such that we have no choice than to hit the ground running as we approach an important election.
The State Executive Committee is working to bring some aggrieved party members back so that we will approach the next election as a united house. We are achieving results in this regard. SEC is also determined to reposition the party and build on the achievements recorded by our predecessors. We are hopeful of taking our party to new heights.
Is it true that some forces worked to neutralise the influence of the governor during the congress?
Politics is always a game of interest and intrigues. As the biggest party in the state, it will be foolhardy to think there won’t be conflicting interests. But the good thing about the party is that we have great internal mechanism for resolving our differences.
We have been able to convince our party members and leaders that our administration will take care of legitimate interests that are not injurious to the party. We have a common interest in the fact that the PDP cannot afford to lose this state. As it is today, it is ours to lose. If we are united, no party can displace us in Kogi State.
But you must be worried that APC defeated you in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Yes, just like APC too must be worried that we floored them in the House of Assembly election. We lost in the National Assembly elections because of the Buhari factor. The nation was caught in the Buhari hurricane. There was nothing we could have done to avert that. You can see how we rebounded into reckoning during the House of Assembly election. With the reports I am getting from the tribunal cases, only God can save the APC from losing more seats in the House. I am not worried. We will roundly defeat APC on November 21 because our association with the party since 2003 has rewarded the state bountifully.
It is also widely alleged that you will be a rubber stamp chairman of the governor?
It is unfortunate that such insinuations are being bandied by the enemies of the party. However, let me set the record straight here that I will discharge my duties as the Chairman of our great party to the best of my ability in line with the constitution of the party. But I need to also add here my functions do not include fighting the governor. We will work with our government to achieve our objectives.
How do you intend to resolve the issue of party members challenging the governor for the governorship ticket?
As a party, we won’t deny people of their right to contest. We always organize free and fair primaries. We are conscious of the need to go into the governorship election as a united front. To achieve that, justice is needed. Justice must be done and must be seen to be done. I am optimistic that we will cross the bridge and remain strong.
Given allegations of non performance and poor workers’ welfare what gives you the confidence that you can win the governorship election
In 2011, our opponents said more than that. Some of them are even circulating fake data against our government to cause disaffection. But one thing is clear: Kogi is too sophisticated for their cheap propaganda. I am happy that Vanguard is holding on to the truth and the ethics of the profession.
The media must resist the temptation of being used by hate campaigners. The government of Idris Wada has performed creditably. If you ask me how I rate him on the key sectors, I will say he has taken Kogi to another height. Check out his projects in our educational sector, health sector and the transport sector. His numerous housing units are cushioning housing problems in the state.
When people talk about poor performance, I know they are being mischievous. Kogites will surely keep fate with the man who has served them without making noise about it. The salaries default they are talking about is not peculiar to Kogi. The government was up to date with wages until allocation dropped. Osun is owing far more than Kogi. If they have suggestions, they should also give same to Osun where their government is in power. We are not in a desperate situation here because our own government is responsible.
The APC leaders have accused the government of Kogi State of diverting Local Government funds. Don’t you think this can affect your chances in the election?
The government of Kogi State is not in any way diverting council funds. They are only saying that to put us in bad light. Councils employed more than their financial capacity could afford. The drop in revenue has hit the councils hard. It has nothing to do with the State Government.