My Dear Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice

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Nilly willy, your piece of advice to Dr Victor Alewo Adoji was worth it. It is indeed a renewed sense of patriotism, kudos. Kogi East is truly blessed among its counterpart regions, seeing men like you ensconced unity at all cost. It pacify keenness in the affairs of our constituency and, come what may, the bonds and we-ness take the lead any time, any day.

Your piece also reminded me of the good old days, when leadership reneged on the three Cs— Character, Competence and Capacity. When brotherliness come first before politics. When love for fatherland persuaded contestants to self appraisal, whereby, one relinquish for another who is deemed more competent. When leadership was exclusive to ideologists and governance was appended due priorities. Oh, the good old days! We red about the late Dr. Stephen Achema who envisaged Igala agenda and work for it from another political party. His Royal Majesty of the blessed memory, Mr Ameh Oboni stood for Igala land. We red that both men paid the ultimate price. This compelling side of history was red with cheer optimism and hope. But, with what you described as ‘prevailing political climate’ and ‘common issues’, hope appears like a distant illusion.

Mr. Haruspice, let us consider some points raised in your story as keen watchers of the recent exercise. Elections are not without controversy, not in Nigeria, not in America. But as inheritors of America’s democratic style, how will you describe what is obtained in both Nations? Better still, is the infiltrated brigandage in the exercises a reflection of the random election controversy?

Today, Kogi state is etched in traits of electoral violence with the Eastern senatorial district as haven. It is premised on killings, bloodshed, ballot box snatching and destruction of properties. For instance, in 2019, Mrs. Salome Abuh—the PDP women leader and Mr. Daniel Usman— a university undergraduate paid the ultimate prices. While the PDP women leader was in active opposition, Daniel Usman was a first time voter who was murdered at his polling where he excitedly queued to cast his first vote.

The killing of a 40 years old man at Emewe Opada and that of an ex-youth corper in Anyigba, both in Dekina Local Government were the aftermaths of the 2023 election.

In the same vein, Kogi Easterners in their numbers were disenfranchised. Egume and Anyigba towns were held hostage by thugs and ballot thieves. Omala, Olamaboro, Ofu, Idah and Igalamela had their fair shares of the disruption. As a matter of fact, 2023 exercise is a direct characterization of invalidated PVCs. Are you saying such humongous anomalies are regular controversies in any election? If yes, I wonder what value you have placed between a cow slaughtered during festivities and human life. By default, election should be a celebration of democracy, wherein, people are allowed to freely express their minds, not by coercion. Maybe, the ugly trend in Kogi East was what Abraham Lincoln saw when he warned that “Election belong to the people, and, it is their decision.”

For posterity sake, Dr. Victor Adoji is not in any form of competition with Jibrin Isah Echocho. He has neither forgotten the long existed ties nor tiptoed atypical paths. What characterizes today’s election simply dashed the hope of an average voter in our constituency, exactly why Adoji is out to restore confidence in the polity. Moreover, we believe election should be free, fair and credible, devoid of apathy, intimidation, killing and manipulation as witnessed twice in Kogi East. We believe no blood is worth any ambition, and as a unique bride of the corporate world, and as a pathfinder, and global personality, violence, killing and manipulations discredited the 2023 poll in Kogi East.

Adoji is therefore not challenging the result, he is challenging the process. Again, DVAA is too busy to engage in needless legal squabbles as speculated. The ideal is simply to ensure the voice of the people is heard through their mandates, the step is a deliberate affront to the misconception trailing our electoral values. As it is often said, whatever that kills, destroys or mar human freedom is in contrast with democratic precepts, and should be legally pursued to abrupt end, even if it means sharing his Legislative agenda with Echocho. The system is unjust, and in an unjust system, silence is a crime. The international media conducted independent verification. Its findings were not indifferent from the mood of the country. Why then should it be disregarded knowing fully well the role of the media at this age and time?

In brokering peace, it is necessary to address a spade as spade. Let us not join political profiteers and turn blind eyes to the red flag. After all, he who comes to equity, they say must come with clean hands. The contest was about the people, but the outcome did not recognise them. Instead, it kills them, maim and intimidate them in quantum. Adoji will rather quit politics than watch such invidious tactics prevail.

_ John Paul

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