Mr. Odih, in his article stays entirely fixated on the personality of Austin Okai, He fails to address the crux of the matters which constitute a basis for the activism of Austin Okai and therefore flatly fails to take into consideration that:
1. In a democracy, perception and freedom of expression are inalienable rights of individuals.
2. Austin Okai and His manner of youth activism cannot be downplayed as a key reason why Mr. Yahaya Bello may have with great pain decided to get it right in some aspects of leadership.
3. Whereas Mr. Yahaya Bello may be considered as a high flyer by some individuals, for some others, mainly those who may have by virtue of having seen and benefited from dividends of democracy elsewhere, He may be an accidental governor who haven’t the slightest of ideas about how to be an ideal governor.
4. Even recent developments in Kogi State; especially the remote causes of the change of leadership in the state assembly which won for Kogi State recognition as perhaps Nigeria’s most politically unstable state is enough to discount whatever efforts Mr. Yahaya Bello has made towards improving His leadership acumen because in all honesty, He cannot divorce himself from complicity in the matter.
5. Dan Odih’s suggestion that Kogi State has promptly cleared it’s outstanding debt obligation to civil servants in Kogi State is a lie because Mr. Yahaya Bello and Mr. Edward Onoja have both on national TV owned up to owing workers “just 15 months” of salary as they put it.
6. Despite Dan Odih’s struggle to manage the already damaged public image of Mr. Yahaya Bello, it adds to confirm to Him that beyond reasonable doubts, Kogi State have had it both rough and bad in key areas of its economy not excluding healthcare (comatose hospitals), education (striking lecturers), human development (harsh working conditions), public institutions (undue interference in the work function of other arms of government).
7. Spending over N1B of state resources in acquiring a private mansion for the use of members of the 1st family of an economically not viable state as Kogi is the height of insensitivity and sheer hatred for mankind.
8. Going on to abuse the instruments of state by unleashing security agents on individuals whose only known offense is asking questions about how their common patrimony is managed by Mr. Yahaya Bello and His band of overlords is cruel, despicable and so low because arm twisting members of the opposition into silence is an old political trick which has lost effectiveness.
9. Rather than resort to paranoia, typical of a lamb, Mr. Yahaya Bello should stop feeling threatened, intimidated and frightened at each request for accountability and transparency because as a matter of fact, His self help strategies will only postpone the doomsday because for every question touching on graft; not excluding the Paris Club Refund He refuses to answer before only Kogi people today, He’d answer before the entire world after He exits government in less than 24 months time.
10. Austin Okai is a proud leader of the most potent and vocal opposition structure in Kogi State and North Central Nigeria and the PDP National Youth Frontier (the second largest youth driven structure of the PDP) who has no baggage of inconsistency, fraud, betrayal, lies, ineptitude, impunity and retrogression tied to Him unlike Mr. Yahaya Bello, who is fast becoming a workman who more often than not is seen quarreling with His work tools – suggesting to Nigerians that Kogi State is a kingdom without a King.
It is for the records that it is considered worthy of clear mention that Austin Okai has not a single personal interest in a weak and uninspiring leader as Mr. Yahaya Bello but has a burning desire to see a Kogi State where a government exists which genuinely desires to develop critical facets of the real sector.
It is on this basis that Austin Okai will not relent in His social advocacy bearing in mind the rule of natural justice which suggests that “to whom much is given much is expected.”
– Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis.
Special Adviser, Planning & Special Duties.
Office of the National Coordinator, PDP National Youth Frontier.