Opinion: Lokoja-Kogi Bye-Election and the Odds in Favor of APC Flagbearer, Alhaji Isah Haruna

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Many have postulated lots of notions and counter notions that will work for and against the APC candidate in person of Alhaji Isah Haruna in the forthcoming Lokoja-Koto bye election scheduled to hold this Saturday but none of such opinions have been able to point out to a tangible reason why he shouldn’t be voted for.
Indeed, the forthcoming bye election to elect a House of Representatives member to represent Lokoja-Koto Federal constituency at the National Assembly is going to be a keenly contested one judging by the number of people who have shown interest in contesting for the position.
Amongst the contestants include the immediate past APC chairman of Lokoja Local Government, Alhaji Isah Haruna from Budan ward who is of Kakanda extraction representing All Progressive Congress (APC); the immediate past Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Umar Imam from Ward D, a Nupe man with maternal family from Koto flying the flag of the Social Democratic Party (SDP);  Hon. Mobo Kasim from Ward C in Lokoja as well with maternal relationship with Hausa speaking people of Lokoja representing African Democratic Congress (ADC),  and Hon. Bashir Gegu from Koto flying the flag of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).  Going by various sampled opinions from majority of Lokoja-Koto constituents, many did agreed to like the person of Alhaji Isah Haruna and that they are ready to vote for him not because he is the best but because his personality and leadership antecedents speak hope to their yearnings.
One of the odds working in his favor is the fact that he is contesting under the platform of the largest political party in Kogi State and Nigerian at large. All progressive Congress (APC) has been deeply rooted in Kogi State for years with its executives spread all over the state down to ward level but some other political parties like African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP), except for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were hurriedly put together in the state without a concrete binding mindset other than the usual sentiment of “Bello Must Go” mindset.
But in this case, the election is not between Governor Yahaya Bello and other aspirants even though the opposing parties have tried to play the card of such sentiment so its going to be an election between the sons of Lokoja-Koto constituency.
Another odd in favor of Alhaji Isah Haruna is that he hailed from Budan ward, popularly known as the outside ward, which is basically the Kakanda minority of Lokoja. Many might be quick to think his emergence from minority part of Lokoja is a minus for him but if you take a more in depth look at the political dynamics surrounding this scenario you will agree with me that there is power in minority. He comes from an area that desires to have one of their own at the national level as they have never been fortunate to have one. Though they have produced two Speakers of state House of Assembly in the past but this Lokoja-Koto House of Representative seat looks more like a bigger position which they won’t hesitate to queue behind one of their own.
Above all, the State All Progressive Congress under the leadership of Hon. Abdullahi Bello played a win-win politics by dangling a juicy offer before the people of Koto, the party have been able to successfully convince the people of Koto to allow someone of Lokoja extraction to complete the tenure of late Hon. Buba Jibril of blessed memory while the party promised to pick the party candidate from Koto for the next coming 2019 election whose primary election is due by this same month of August 2018.
This singular move on the side of the party was a master stroke that seemed to have killed whatever sentiment or sympathy vote any candidate from Koto is banking on  in the coming bye election.
Lastly, Alhaji Isah Haruna enjoys the support of Governor Yahaya Bello led administration and going by the numerous human and capital development extended to the people of Lokoja-Koto constituency, the latest of such development which is the construction of chiefs palace road which was flagged up for construction not quite long. More and more of such development are scattered all over Lokoja-Koto constituency and as such all this will come to play in respect to the forthcoming bye election.
As the election day approach, I enjoin the people of Lokoja-Koto to embrace politics of peace. May the best man win.
– Amb. Aliyu Mahmud Amoto 
Convener, Concerned Kogites and Vote for Us Campaign

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