Opinion: Kogi is the Most Expensive State to Contest for Elective Position

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If you have ever contested for any political office in Kogi State and lost, you would agree with me that it’s not because you are not competent but electoral victory here lies in the hands of money holders. Here, you don’t come with good ideas, just come with good money.

Pause, let’s ponder together for a second. Be sincere, are you proud of the Kogi State we have as at today? If you are not, it shows you still have a living conscience. This is not about wailing or criticism, it’s about saving a drowning state.

Let’s reason – don’t you think it’s near impossible for good leaders to emerge in a clime where politics is seen as a means of survival and election periods are seen as opportunities for money making when the man with envelope of ideas might not be the man with envelopes of money?

There is a popular short cut we have successfully created for politicians here. They don’t need to execute projects anymore to become good leaders, they don’t need to sit and plan, they don’t need to get across the nooks and crannies of the state to know our plights, all they need do is to pay their way into power; invite group of persons, give them money and they automatically become good leaders. It’s a very simple formula, give group of 5 people who visit you two hundred thousand Naira, next you are the best leader. Isn’t this pathetic?

This political trend is prevalent in Africa, precisely Nigeria, and it is endemic in our dear Kogi State. Once you are in the race for any political office, everybody wants a share from your pocket. At that point, your competency is measured by the weight of your pocket, nothing else. If you don’t have money that would go round, it means you are not good to go. 

Think, Kogi is backward and awkward today for a single reason; Once it’s election time, everyone would be looking for what they can get from your pocket before you can be voted for and even after election, the people don’t demand for good governance anymore because everyone is after what they can get. Won’t development be far from us if we continue like this? 

Ostensibly, most of those we have on the seat of power are vision less people who rode on the horse of money sharing to the corridors of power. They share money to sustain that power while our roads remain in their deplorable states and darkness remains our companion at nights. 

Since he who gives money is the good leader, how can those with ideas but without funds contest election in our state? How can those who genuinely care but don’t have enough money to go round come into power to turn things around? Think, let’s think. Don’t doubt me, so far it’s election, you can’t win here without money.

Should it be like that?

– Austin Usman Okai writes from Abuja.

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