The reported agitation by a group of aspirants for the governorship of Kogi State calling on the National leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) to pick the party’s candidate via direct primary has elicited a lot of reactions from lots of people. While cohorts and acolytes of Alhaji Yahaya Bello have adopted the indirect primary and are strident in the call for same to be used to pick the party’s flag bearer, other aspirants are clamouring for the direct primary option.
The purpose of this piece is really not to delve into the controversy but to address the issues raised by Chief Edward Onoja and his preposterous assertion on same; especially the inclusion of the name of Barrister Babatunde Irukera into his false, rash and unguarded vituperation.
That is vintage Edward Onoja who will always blame others for his mistakes, indiscretions and failures.
To what end is Edward Onoja’s mischievous attempt to involve Barrister Babatunde Irukera in his trademark arrogant rablerousing?
Was Barrister Babatunde Irukera part of deliberations in the meeting Edward Onoja copiously narrated its proceedings as if he was there?As always with Edward Onoja, he is quick to take glory for any success but will shift the blame of defeat on others.
Babatunde Irukera has proved himself worthy of his weighty political appointment as he has always done even as an international Attorney of repute. Can the same be said of Edward Onoja?
Contrary to what the Self-acclaimed Ogugu White Oracle will want the world to believe, the pyrrhic victory he is gloating over was achieved through coercion, intimidation, violence, ballot box snatching and burning; a success tainted with the blood, tears and anguish of innocent Kogites whose sin was insisting on electing their political office holders freely in a fair and credible process.
To brag of acceptability and relevance only when with access to state resources and security apparatchiks is the height of delusion; especially from an individual whose previous quests for elective political office have ended in futility with ordinary House of Assembly seat being a herculean task.
What played out in Kogi West was a continuation of the failed recall bid of the Senator representing the district. Rather than eat the humble pie, Edward Onoja persisted in his heretic ploy to play a god. He manipulated the primaries in favour of a political spent force and attempted to force it down the throats of the people of Kogi West. This brazen impunity was what West Kogites rejected but Edward Onoja in his characteristic manner will not acknowledge and take responsibility for his miscalculation. He will prefer to sight tight in the blame room shifting culpability.
What then will Edward Onoja attribute the loss of Yagba Federal Constituency to Elder Leke Abejide of ADC with the Secretary to the State Government, Commissioner for Finance and other top appointees being indigenes? Or Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu to Hon. Teejay Yusuf of PDP in a Federal Constituency having the State Assembly Speaker, State ALGON Chairman and former two-time Senator on ground?
Barrister Babatunde Irukera is at home and in touch with his people and what played out in the last election was an indictment of the blatant imposition of an unpopular candidate, refusal of the people to be forcefully fed an expired and poisonous food.
Chief Edward Onoja should leave Barrister Babatunde Irukera out of his campaign of calumny and face reality. If not for forethought, it has taken extreme restraint on the part of Babatunde Irukera not to have joined the fray for the governorship race as a result of relentless pressure from his people; a situation an individual as impulsive as Edward Onoja will not and can never understand.
Babatunde Irukera has debunked several reports before now linking him to the gubernatorial contest and even if he decides to contest, how that is a crime beats reasonable imagination.
Chief Edward Onoja should understand that what is at stake in the 2019 Kogi State gubernatorial election is not just the personal aspirations of an individual, but getting a credible and popular leader with the needed experience that will engender wealth creation, human capital development and socioeconomic expansion and integration for the benefit of the people; attributes the inept and profligate leadership in Kogi State for the past three and a half years have shown they lacked.
The length to which Chief Edward Onoja is prepared to go to maintain the status quo with his denigrating outbursts on real and perceived challengers of Alhaji Yahaya Bello’s second term bid is really amusing.
Accusing other aspirants vying for the party’s flag to contest the November, 2019 elections of numerous false infractions and indiscretions just to make them look bad is the stuff mischief is made of.
Chief Edward Onoja should sincerely tell Kogites if the State and her people are better off today than they were when Alhaji Yahaya Bello was inaugurated in January, 2016.
Is it rational to make others scapegoats for the gross ineptitude of the New Direction government under the leadership of Alhaji Yahaya Bello and supervision of Chief Edward Onoja?
Chief Edward Onoja is advised to wake up and face the reality that Kogites have never been this traumatized. The pain, anguish and agony foisted on Kogi State despite the unprecedented enormous resources the government have accessed is what the apologists of the present administration should be addressing and not the fruitless shadow chasing being displayed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is at liberty to adopt any means it considers appropriate in choosing its flag bearer for the coming gubernatorial election in Kogi State but presenting a proven blundering, bumbling and incompetent incumbent is a sure path to electoral trouncing in the hands of the opposition.
If Chief Edward Onoja is of the opinion that, the violence, intimidation, coercion and other unwholesome tactics deployed during the last election will work in November, 2019 his regrets after the election will be equal to none.
It is callous that while majority of Kogites cannot wait to see the exit of the New Direction government, some individuals for pecuniary gains are clamouring for the extension of the suffering of the people.
Failure in saner climes is punished because it deserves no reward and for Chief Edward Onoja to expect anything to the contrary is really delusional.
Alhaji Yahaya Bello has boastfully proclaimed he is sure of victory irrespective of the mode of contest and what is expected of his appointees is to showcase his tangible achievements in a bid to convince Kogites why he deserves another term. No amount of mudslinging will change the narrative of the reality in Kogi State at present and Edward Onoja is advised to stop his nauseating exhibition of arrogance on issues affecting Kogi State.
– Posi Botun writes from Lokoja.